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GENEALOGY COL-L-ECTION 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2015 



https://archive.org/details/historyofstjamesOOsilb 




ST. JAMES’ METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 
Cor. of Madison Ave. and 126th St. 



A HISTORY 



OF 



*daiD0S* 




ist*Episcopal*1 5burcb 



AT 



HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY, 



1830 - 1880 . 



WITH SOME FACTS RELATING TO THE SETTLEMENT OF 



HARLEM, 



WILLIAM B. SILBER, LLD. 



NEW YORK: 

PHILLIPS & IIUNT. 



1882 . 



Copyright, 1881, 

By William B. Silber. 



1132515 







v 

V 









TO 



THE NOBLE BAND OF BRAVE SOULS, 



BOTH OF THE CLERGY AND LAITY, 



WHO ORGANIZED THE 



HARLEM MISSION, 



AND WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN THE ERECTION 
OF THE 



FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN HARLEM, 



AND SUBSEQUENTLY OF 



St. James' M. E. Church, 



THIS VOLUME 



IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED. 



PREFACE. 



This history was undertaken by the writer, at the unanimous request of 
the Quarterly Conference of St. James’ Methodist Episcopal Church. 

In its preparation, he has availed himself of all the opportunities of 
gaining information by personal interviews, correspondence, consulting the 
church records, newspapers, &c., and would here, as he has in the body of 
the work, express his indebtedness and thanks for assistance rendered. 

He would also acknowledge his obligations for the sketches of former 
pastors of the church, statistics, and other valuable information placed at 
his disposal, to those who have charge of the papers, Conference Proceed- 
ings, &c., in the Methodist Book Concern. 

Very little, if any claim is made to originality, except it be in regard 
to the plan and manner of treatment of the subject. 

If this history shall inspire others to noble deeds, and be the means of 
increasing our love to God and to his Church, the writer will be abundantly 
repaid for all his toil. 

W. B. S. 



New York, Jan. 4 , 1882 . 



CONTENTS. 



TAGE. 

I. — Remarks on History, 9 

II. — Discovery of the Western Hemisphere, - - - - • - 11 

III. — On the Settlement of New York City, 12 

IV. — On the Settlement of Harlem, 1-1 

V. — On the Introduction of Methodism in America and New York City, IS 

VI. — State of Methodism in New York City in 1830, - - - - 21 

VII. — Condition of Harlem in 1S30, 22 

VIII. — Formation and Extent of IIarlem Mission, 20 

IX. — Places where Methodist Religious Services were held, - - 30 

X. — Plans and Beginnings for a House of Worship, - - - - 32 

XI. — Laying of the Corner Stone and Dedication, - - - - 39 

XII.- — Ceremonies on taking Leave of the Old Church, - - - - 41 

XIII. — History of the Beginning, Progress, and Completion of St. James 

M. E. Church, - - - - .43 

XIV. — Sketches of the Pastors, both Living and Dead, - - - - 52 

XV. — Statistics, SO 

XVI. — Names of Pastors of St. James’ M. E. Chdrcii, - - - - S9 

XVII. — Names of Trustees, Stewards, Leaders, and Sabbath-Sciiool Super- 
intendents, - - 90 

XVIII. — Services Commemorative of the Semi-Centennial of St. James M. E. 

Church, 95 



I. 



HISTORY, 



ISTORY has very appropriately been defined as u a record 
of the past.” And at the simple mention of the past, how 
the memory is quickened! What recollections are revived! 
We are reminded of the time when, in the grand and graphic 
of Holy Writ, it is said, “In the beginning God 
created the heaven and the earth.” How, in process of time, order 
succeeded chaos, and, at the simple fiat of the great Creator, this 
earth became a fit habitation for man, the masterpiece of the Almighty. 
How the race of man increased, multiplied, and spread, until nations were 
formed, cities built, kingdoms established, and a large portion of the habitable 
part of the earth peopled. How wars, plagues, disease, and death have 
traversed our fair earth and drenched it with blood, and made it one vast 
cemetery. How, despite all the disadvantages against which the race has 
been obliged to contend, it has progressed, and is still progressing in physical, 
intellectual, and moral excellence. How, under the mighty influence of 
thought, man is bringing, as his Creator originally intended, the material 
universe under subjection, and causing the very elements to obey his behests. 
How, by contact of man with man, and thought with thought, men are 
beginning to understand each other more fully, and though remotely distant, 
are virtually very near. How, under the humanizing, elevating, and refining 
influence of education, science, art, literature, and especially ot religion, the 
race is making rapid strides towards that period so eagerly desired, and so 
appropriately styled “the golden age.” 

As a matter of convenience, history has been divided into ancient, 
mediaeval, and modern. Also into sacred and profane, ecclesiastical and 
civil. 




( 2 ) 



10 



HISTORY. 



History is intended to be the repository of the past, the treasury in 
which are stored all the events that have exercised an influence upon the 
weal or woe of mankind, the storehouse in which is garnered the experience 
of the race for the entertainment, instruction, and profit of posterity. History 
transports us into the past, and, in imagination we revel in scenes as if they 
were now transpiring. Its perusal is calculated to enlarge the mind and 
broaden the intellect. In the language of another, “ the effect of historical 
reading is analogous, in many respects, to that produced by foreign travel. 
The student, like the tourist, is transported into a new state of society. He 
sees new fashions. He hears new modes of expression. His mind is 
enlarged by contemplating the wide diversities of laws, of morals, and of 
manners.” The instruction to be derived from a systematic and thorough 
pursuit of history is incalculable. It may with truth be said that history 
forms, or at least should form, the basis of all knowledge. Upon such a 
foundation as this, all future additions to knowledge will rest upon an 
unalterably secure basis. Truly has it been said that “history is philosophy 
teaching by example.” 



II. 



Discovery of the Western Hemisphere. 

HAT was a proud and memorable day when the discoverer 
of the Western Hemisphere first set his foot upon terra firnia 
in the new world. Far in advance of the age in which he 
fed, we cannot fail to admire his perseverance and con- 
date him upon his final and well-deserved success 
Equally worthy of praise is Queen Isabella, who, at the cost 
of self-sacrifice, and from a desire to spread the Christian faith, aided him 
in his grand, bold, and daring undertaking. 

How impressive the scene, with Columbus, followed by a retinue of his 
officers and men bearing banners, throAving himself upon his knees, kissing 
•the earth, and with tears of joy, giving thanks to God, thereby acknowledg- 
ing His providence in safely guiding him across the hitherto unnavigated 
sea, and virtually dedicating the newly discovered land to its original 
Creator, and then formally planting the cross, the symbol of salvation, as 
well as of a suffering Saviour! 

From the time of the first discovery of land in the new world by 
Columbus, almost every year witnessed new adventurers and neAv dis- 
coveries, until the land of both continents was studded with colonies and 
a train of influences was set in operation which culminated in the war of the 
Revolution, resulting in the independence, civil and religious, of the 
colonists, so, that to-day, this land is the observed of all observers, and the 
asylum of the oppressed of all nations. 




III. 



On the Settlement of New York City. 




S]^W&JRS. MARTHA J. LAMB in her history of the City of New 
York, has beautifully said, “ Two hundred and sixty-five years 
ago the site of the city of New York was a rocky, wooded, canoe- 
shaped, thirteen-mile-long island, bounded by two salt rivers and a 



bay, and peopled by dusky skin-clad savages. A half-dozen portable 
* ^ wigwam villages, some patches of tobacco and corn, and a few bark 
canoes drawn upon the shore, gave little promise of our present four hundred 
and fifty miles of streets, vast property interests, and the encircling forest 
of shipping.” 

It was on the lltli of September, 1609, that the Half Moon , (the name 
of the vessel commanded by Henry Hudson, who, though an Englishman, 
was in the employ of the Dutch government) having been cautiously guided 
through the Narrows, anchored in full view of Manhattan Island (now New 
York City.) From this time repeated visits were made to Manhattan, and 
the vessels returned to Holland laden with furs received from the Indians 
in exchange for the trinkets brought by the traders, until in the Spring of 
1614, when, in the language of the same authoress, “Manhattan Island was 
again left in primeval solitude, waiting until commerce should come and 
claim its own. 

“ It was not an interesting people whom the Dutch found in possession 
of Manhattan Island. They were tall, well made, broad of shoulder and 
slender in the waist, with large round faces, mild black eyes, and of a 
cinnamon complexion. They lived in huts skilfully lined with bark to keep 
out the cold. 

“The Indians never located permanently, but moved about from 
one place to another, selecting such points as were naturally clear of wood. 



ON THE SETTLEMENT OF NEW YORK CITY. 



13 



“The women, as usual among uncivilized nations, performed most of 
the field work. 

“ Of dress both sexes were extravagently fond. 

“Public affairs were managed by a council of the wisest, most 
experienced, and bravest of their number, called Sachems. Law and justice, 
in our acceptation of the terms, were unknown to them. With excessive 
thirst for excitement and display, war became their common lot and 
condition.” 

The first settlement on Manhattan Island was made in the year 1624. 
"The rocky point of Manhattan Island, near what is now known as the 
Battery, was, on the 6th of May, 1626, the scene of one of the most 
interesting business transactions which has ever occurred in the world’s 
history. 

“It was the purchase by the Butch, through Peter Minuet, of the city 
of New York. The amount which secured the title to the whole of Manhattan 
Island was equal, in our currency, to twenty-four dollars.” 

On the evening of February 2, 1653, at the feast of Candlemas, a new 
city appeared in the annals of the world — Manhattan was called New 
Amsterdam. 

September 8, 1664, the Dutch surrendered to the English and New 
Amsterdam was henceforth to be known as New York. 

July 30, 1673, New York surrendered to the Dutch and became once 
more New Netherland. The city was called New Orange in honor ol the 
young Prince of Orange. 

On November 10, 1674, the city on Manhattan Island became once 
more and for all the future up to the present time, New York. 



TV. 



On the Settlement of Harlem. 




E have already seen that New York was discovered and settled 
by the Dutch. And it is natural to suppose that they would, as 
fW they actually did, give to the land which they discovered, 
names familiar to themselves and peculiar to the country from 
uy/Jfp which they came. Hence the names New Netherlands, New 
Amsterdam, Harlem, &c. 

Harlem was undoubtedly named after Haarlem, a city of the Nether- 
lands, in the province of North Holland, ten miles from Amsterdam. 

It is curious also to note the different methods according to which the 
word was spelled, “Harlem,” “Haerlem,” “Harlaem,” “Haarlem.” 

The settlement of Harlem was commenced through an offer by the gov- 
ernment to give any twenty-five families who would remove to that remote 
part of Manhattan Island, a court and a clergyman of their own and a ferry 
to Long Island. Upon the bank of the Harlem River a little tavern was 
built, which became quite a resort for pleasure parties from the city. It 
was called the “Wedding Place 

The account of “ the first establishment of the village of Harlem,” 
from the pen of the late David T. Valentine, formerly clerk of the Common 
Council of the City of New York, appeared in his Manual for the year 
1863. 



“Jocliem Pietersen Kuyter, a gentleman of good education, who had 
previously been a commander in the East India Company, under the King 
of Denmark, came to New Netherland in 1639, and soon after purchased 
the flats on which the present village of Harlem is situated. He was a man 
of some means, and built a dwelling there, where, with his wife and 
family, he established his home, to pass his days in the enjoyment of 



ON THE SETTLEMENT OE HARLEM. 



rural occupations. He called his estate Z E G E N D A A L, or Happy 
Valley. 

His hopes, however, were ruthlessly blasted within' a short period. 
For, unfortunately, an Indian war broke out in IG43, and no exposed settle- 
ment was free from danger. 

In the spring of 1644 his house was burned to the ground by a 
burning pile or arrow (supposed to have been shot by an Indian) which 
fell on the thatched reeds, with which the house was roofed. But, despite 
his misfortunes, Kuyter persevered in his design of enjoying the sweets 
of life in his “Happy Valley” home, for, after peace was established 
with the savages, he sought to reinstate himself upon his property; but 
his finances having been affected by his previous misfortunes, he was 
compelled to ask the assistance of some of his friends to aid him in 
rebuilding his house and in placing his fields in condition for cultivation. 
To do this he was obliged to part Avith the title to three-fourths of his 
property. 

Accordingly, on the 23d September, 1651, an amicable agreement 
was made between Mr. Jochem Pietersen Kuyter, a free merchant, on 
the one side, and the Hon. Petrus Stuyvesant, Director-General of New 
Netherland, Curacao, and its dependencies, Lucas Rodenberg, Governor 
of Curacao, and Cornelis De Potter, free merchant, of the other side, 
concerning a piece of land lying on Manhattan Island of about 400 acres, 
with uncertain boundaries. 

But the hopes of Kuyter were still more ruthlessly to be blasted; for, 
in the year 1654, he was ruthlessly murdered in his own house, by the 
savages, and the “Happy Valley” was immediately deserted by his 
family, and the property went to waste. 

After the Indian troubles of the latter period became settled, Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant, who, as we have seen, owned an interest in the 
property, determined to erect a village there, and, accordingly, with the con- 
sent of his Council, offered the following inducements to would-be 
settlers: The inhabitants of said village shall be granted in lee, eighteen, 
twenty, to twenty-nine morgens [morgen of two acres] of plow land, and 



16 



ON THE SETTLEMENT OF HARLEM. 



six to eight morgens of the meadow for pasture; and shall also have 
exemption from paying tithes during fifteen years following the first of 
May next, ( 1658) provided they pay within three years, either at once 
or by installments, eight guilders, ($3.20,) for each morgen of arable 
land; assistance and protection, in all possible manner, by twelve or 
fifteen soldiers; a subaltern bench of justices, with the privilege of nomi- 
nating a double number of magistrates from the most judicious and best 
qualified among the inhabitants, from whom the Director-General and 

Council shall make choice; to supply them with a good, pious, and 

orthodox minister; a good wagon road from New Amsterdam to said 

village; that no other village or concentration shall be undertaken, nor 

be permitted to be established, until the aforesaid village shall have 
arrived in esse • and that a ferry shall be established in the vicinity of 
the aforesaid village, with the accommodation of a good scow ; and fur- 
ther, they (Director-General and Council) will favor the said village with 
a cattle and horse fair. 

It appears from subsequent records, that, the project of a village 
was successful, and that the “ Concentration " was soon after accomplished 
on the terms announced in the proclamation. “ The place received the 
name of New Harlem.” 

The Hon. Edgar Ketcham has graphically and eloquently described 
the march of the early settlers on this end of the island in the following 
terms: “More than two hundred years ago a few adventurous Hollanders 

fearless of wild beasts and Indians, left the enclosures of New Amsterdam 
and walked to New Harlem. The way was new, and hills and valleys 
dispensed pleasant odors from trees and flowers: from birch and sassafras, 
from oak, hickory, larch, cedar and maple; from wild rose and dogwood, 
and daisy and buttercup. They were Dutchmen, not to be detained by 
smiles or hindered by frowns. They passed the stockade (the place of 
Wall Street now,) with grim aspect, and only paused to moisten their 
lips at the Kolk, a pond of clear water deep and cold, among hills where 
now are the “Tombs’ in Centre Street. So refreshed, they resumed 
their way, which, followed afterward, became the “Bowerie Lane”, the 



ON THE SETTLEMENT OF IIAIiLEM. 



17 



“Road to Boston." Where 23d Street is now, they found a winding creek- 
flowing toward the East River, thickly bordered with forest trees. Whether 
our travellers crossed the Cedar Creek by pontoon bridge, or fallen tree, 
or simple fording, is now unknown, but they crossed it, advancing over 
rising ground, through woods and bush to a mount of rock, now Murray 
Hill, at the base of which nestled Sunfish Pond, as later known. 

On they went, by a way afterwards called Cato’s Road, sweeping in 
a curve north-east from the present junction of 3d Avenue and 43d Street 
and coming out on the top of the hill at our 66th Street. 

It was a trial of muscle for our Hollanders to reach the top of that 
hill, and a relief to descend toward the north into the valley where ran a 
brook through a wood to the East River. But our Hollanders; to them — 
“hills peep o’er hills,” — and a mile farther they reached their highest 
elevation, from which, like Moses at Pisgah, they could see the good land 
beyond ; a plain two and a half miles square, Helle Gatte and the Sound 
stretching away on the right — the rocky heights leading off to the 
valley (afterwards Manhattan,) the palisades in the distance on the left — 
a plain, the very heart’s desire of a Hollander to settle on, with strip 
of farm touching salt water at one end, and the heights for pasture at 
the other. 

Here, when the English came, in 1666, were found Joannes Vermillier, 
Joost Van Oblinus, Resolved Waldron, Daniel Turnier, Adolph Meyer, 
Jan H. Brevort, Jan Delamater, Lawrence Dyckman, Abraham Montanier 
and others, “in the tenure and occupation of a certain village, called 
New Harlem, who had been at a considerable charge in building, ma- 
nuring, planting and fencing; and for a confirmation and encouragement 
to them in their further improvement ot the land, their titles and estates 
were confirmed to them by the two charters of Gov. Nicolls. 



( 3 ) 



On the Introduction of Methodism in America and N. Y, City. 




F those who are associated with the original Methodists of 
■M, New York, says Dr. Abel Stevens, in his History of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, “are the names of Embury, Heck, 
Ruckle, Switzer, Gier, and others.” 

Speaking of Embury, the same author observes: “With 
party of his brethren, he emigrated to the New World. The 
Company included his wife, Mary Switzer; two of his brothers and their 
families; Peter Switzer, probably a brother of his wife; Paul Heck and 
Barbara, Ids wife; Valer Pettier; Philip Morgan and a family of the 
Did mages. The vessel arrived safely in New York on the 10th of August, 
1760.” 



Late in the year 1765, another vessel arrived in New York, bring- 
ing over Paul Ruckle, Luke Rose, Jacob Heck, Peter Barkman, and 
Henry Williams, with their families. 

Philip Embury was born in 1728 or in 1730. He was converted 
on the 25th of December, in the year 1752. With Gier, who, at one 

time, had been his teacher, he ministered faithfully to his neighbors, as 
a local preacher, in the intervals of the visits of the itinerant preachers, 
on their circuit before starting for the New World. 

It can hardly be doubted that, on arriving in New York, Embury, 
a Class leader, and also a licensed local preacher in Ireland, attempted 
some religious care of the few Methodists who had accompanied him ; but 
they fell away from their steadfastness in the temptations of their new 
condition, and he, yielding to discouragement, appears not to have used 
his office as a preacher till the autumn of 1766 ; and this, only at the in- 
stance of Mrs. Barbara Heck, whose spirit was roused at witnessing, 



INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM IN A MEEK' A. 



I!) 



while on a visit to them, some of her acquaintances engaged in a game 
of cards. Thereupon she went to the house of Embury, her cousin, and 
after narrating what she had seen and done, appealed to him to be no 
longer silent, but to preach the word forthwith. Answering his excuses, 
she urged him to commence at once in his own house, and to his own 
people. He consented, and she went out and collected four persons, 
who, with herself, constituted his audience. 

The little company soon grew too large for Embury's house; they 
hired a more commodious room in the neighborhood, where he continued 
to conduct their worship, its expenses being met by voluntary contributions. 

In 1767, a rigging loft, sixty feet by eighteen, on William Street, 
was rented. 

In 1768, the site on John Street was leased, and purchased in 1770. 

A chapel was built of stone, faced with blue plaster. It was sixty 
feet in length, forty-two in breadth. On the memorable 30th of October, 
1768, Embury mounted the desk he had made, and dedicated the humble 
temple by a sermon on Hosea 10:12. 

The year preceding that in which the John Street Church was 
formed, is memorable as the date of the Stamp Act; the Church was 
founded amid the storm of excitement which compelled the repeal of 
the act in 1766 — the recognized epoch of American Methodism. 

It has been erroneously supposed that John Street Chapel in New 
York, was occupied by the British troops during a part of the Revolu- 
tionary War. 

Seven Annual Conferences were, indeed, held without an appoint- 
ment to that city. The chapels of most denominations in the city were 
appropriated by the enemy; but John Street was spared, tlnough 
deference to Wesley and his English representatives in the colonies. 

Dr. Stevens also remarks: “It may be affirmed that not only vas 
Methodism founded in the New World by Local Preachers bv Lmbiuy 
in New York, Webb in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Strawbridge m 
Maryland, Neal in Canada, Gilbert in the West Indies, and Black in 
Nova Scotia— but that nearly its whole frontier march, from the extreme 



20 



INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM IN AMERICA. 



north to the Gulf of Mexico, has been led on by these humble laborers; 
that in few things was the legislative wisdom of Wesley more signalized 
than in providing in his ecclesiastical system the offices of local preacher 
and class-leader, a species of lay pastorate, which, alike in the dense 
communities of England and the dispersed populations oi America, has 
performed services which can hardly be overrated.’ 



VI. 



State of Methodism in New York City in i 830 . 

N 1830, the New York conference embraced the following- 
districts: New York, New Haven, Rhinebeck, Troy, Saratoga, 
Hudson River, Champlain and Plattsburg. 

The population of the City of New York during the same 
, was 202,589. 

The number of members of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
was 3,955 or 3,886 white and 69 colored. 

The whole city then was one circuit, with Rev. Daniel Ostrander, 
as presiding elder. There were the following Methodist Episcopal Churches 
in the city at that time, and the ministers stationed over them: John 
Street, Heman Bangs; Duane Street, Lewis Pease; Allen Street, Samuel 
Merwin; Forsyth Street, Samuel Luckey; Willett Street, Buel Goodsell; 
Seventh Street, Stephen Martindale; Bedford Street, Samuel D. Ferguson. 

Three services were held in the churches on the Sabbath, and it 
was customary for the ministers to rotate, preaching in different churches 
on the same Sabbath, and each succeeding Sabbath. 




y ii. 



Condition of Harlem in i830. 



(jpeBftARLEM, writes the Hon. Edgar Ketcham, fifty years ago, was 



a village 



wi 



tli few people, a single church and a little 



6^^ school house. Its old roads toward the city were three 

in number, and two of them extended northward, meeting 
above the rise called Breakneck hill, (west of 8th Avenue and 
north of 140th Street,) one then going on to Kingsbridge. 

Of the three, the eastern was called the road to Harlem, the west- 
ern, the Bloomingdale, and the other, the middle road The latter 
traversed much of what is now in Central Park. 

The western remains, the continuation of Broadway. 

The first meandered about, crossing and recrossing, as it ran, the 
line of the 3d Avenue, and ended at Coles’ Bridge (now Harlem Bridge) 
on Harlem River, which was also the northern terminus of the 3d Avenue- 
on the plan of the city laid out by the Commissioners, John Rutherford, 
Gouverneur Morris and Simeon De Witt, in the year 1809. 

In 1821, this avenue was opened and graded, but not as it is now,, 
some hills (as at 67th Street) being as much as fifteen feet higher, and 
some valleys (as at 73d Street) ten feet deeper; while its surface was in 
part covered with flat stones having a layer of soil over them, and for 
the rest with gravel and sand, making it a hard road to travel in win- 
ter and spring. 

Above Vauxhall Garden (Bowery, opposite 7th Street now) there were 
few buildings beside taverns at intervals of a mile or two, with their horse- 
sheds adjoining, and Harlem proper lay within the flat doughnut-shaped 
territory bounded easterly by the Harlem River and westerly by the hills- 
running from Helle Gatte over to Manhattanville, in the middle of which 
lay two wart-like mounds, Snake Hill and Mount Morris. 



t 




CONDITION OF HARLEM IN 1830. 



23 



Near these was opened the first crosstown highway laid out upon 
the new plan in this territory, 125th Street. 

The Reformed Dutch Church, built in 1825, stood where, and as it 
does now, only shorter and but three steps from the ground (for it has 
been lengthened and raised) with the same shingled sides and little belfry. 

The business street was 3d Avenue from the Church to the Bridge, 
.and the way to the river eastward was the old Church road, running 
■diagonally from the junction of 3d Avenue and 121st Street, passing by 
125th Street and 1st Avenue to the water side near the Benjamin Bailey 
Mansion, near the bathing place of Daniel Doran, north of 125th Street. 

This old church road was the dividing line between the farms on 
Harlem River south of Coles’ bridge, those north of it, save the little 
square homesteads on its north line running in strips from the river to 
the old Harlem road, and those south of it running at right angles in 
;strips from its south line to the river. 

The two most considerable pieces of land north of this road were 
those of Daniel Phoenix and John S. Sickles, comprising most of the land 
between the church road and Coles’ bridge. 

On the south side the most considerable tracts were those of Ben- 
jamin Bailey, Moses Randell, one of the Benson families, William Wood, 
John P. Waldron and Dominie Jackson, whose ancient mansion yet stands 
well conditioned in the diagonal lines the old roads took, in the grassy 
block on the east side of 3d Avenue, between 114th and 115th Streets. 

West of Snake Hill and Mount Morris, and including them, was the 
90 acre farm of Samson Benson, on which, from 4th to Tth Avenues, a 

race course was long established with a high fence on the south side 

of 125th Street, and north of that street for nearly a mile, and from 4th 
Avenue to 8th Avenue the land had been purchased by Charles Henry 
Hall, of various old proprietors, in strips as their farms ran Irom Har- 
lem river north of Coles bridge westerly to the old Ivingsbridge road 

above mentioned, some of whose names were Lawrence Benson. John 
Adriance, Gabriel Freeman, John Meyer and Arent Bussing. 

Mr. Hall was in various things a public benefactor, and in none 



24 



CONDITION OF HARLEM IN 1830. 



more so than in thus blotting out the numerous diagonal lines that crossed 
this territory of nearly a mile square, and making city lots for a good neigh- 
borhood for a town to come after him. His wide-spread mansion had 
been the dwelling of Gabriel Freeman, and it stood on a mound amidst 
charming fields and groves of trees that bordered a considerable pond of 
water artificially formed by Mr. Hall. 

The house, or what remains of it, may be seen yet in the decaying 
tenement west of 5th Avenue, between 131st and 132d Streets. 

Mr. Hall acquired much wealth, and foreseeing what this city would 
be, made large purchases of land, and devised liberal things for the improve- 
ment of it, and of the city at large. 

Being made alderman of the 12th ward, he had the taste and 
courage, and influence to obtain the great work of re-grading the 3d Avenue 
through its six miles from 10th Street to Harlem Bridge, and the macadam- 
izing of the carriage way from end to end, accomplishing this in the year- 
1832, the same year the Asiatic cholera first visited this country and 
desolated so large a part of it. He also opened 129th Street from 3d to 8th 
Avenues, and had it paved in carriage way and sidewalks, four feet wide — 
the first sidewalks recovered from the general mud of Harlem. And what 
these achievements were in magnitude and worth must be imagined, not 
described. 

Harlem, fifty years ago, had few dwellings, and these were of wood, 
with patches of ground around them and grass and shrubbery, and there 
were grassy sidewalks with foot-paths. 

The Methodists first came with good Drs. Seaman and Reese preaching 
Sunday evenings in the upper room of the little school-house on 120th 
Street, then building their frame meeting-house on 125th Street, between 
3d and 4th Avenues. Then came the Episcopalians, preaching in the same 
place by the courtly Dr. Wainwright, afterward bishop, St. Andrew’s 
Church following upon land bestowed by Charles Henry Hall. 

The stages, carried the people at a quarter each, in time, an hour and a 
half, and no travel at night. 

The grand improvement was the steamboats, the Sylvan Shore being 



CONDITION OF HARLEM IN 1830 



25 



launched from the river bank opposite 2d Avenue, and then followed by its 
companions of the Sylvan line. 

The Harlem Railroad came, too, but it was not made for the masses and 
did not help them much. 

Land was cheap, and, therefore, little cared for. Several families, 
however, bought and kept tracts of it, the founders patiently holding, and 
resignedly dying, leaving it to descendants. They, ere long, sold, and for 
prices far beyond the original, yet so small, that holders now of what they 
purchased then, are enriched by it. But not all. Some were ruined even 
under those small prices. 

The little village is such no longer. 

It is a part of the great city, with its share of the great advantages, 
paved streets and sidewalks, drainage, capacious and costly school-houses 
and churches, and dwellings elegant as heart could wish. 

The crowning modern improvement is the elevated road, which now 
very swiftly and cheaply and constantly carries the people northward and 
southward, day and night. 

Harlem, therefore, as a separate place, is abolished, as Greenwich was, 
forty years ago, on the west side, two miles from City Hall. 



( 4 ) 



VIII. 



Formation and Extent of Harlem Mission. 




island of New York, called the Harlem Mission. This embraced 
a population in the neighborhood of the city, many of whom were 



/ HE Rev. Dr. Bangs, in his History of the Methodist Episcopal 



Church, thus writes respecting the establishment of the “Har- 
lem Mission”: “This year (1830) a mission was begun on the 



but transient residents, and generally destitute of the means of 
grace.” And the Rev. Dr. Reid, in his recent work on “Missions and Mis- 
sionary Society of the M. E. Church,” says: “The north part of New York 
Island, embracing all above ‘Upper Greenwich,’ (the present Bedford 
Street Church) and ‘Bowery Yillage,’ (the present Seventh Street Church) 
became a mission under the title of ‘Harlem Mission.’” According to the 
minutes of the session of the New York Conference, published in the 
Christian Advocate and Journal and Zion's Herald , (as the paper was then 
called) held in the City of New York, May 6th, 1830, Bishop Hedding 
presiding, Harlem Mission was assigned to the Rev. Ira Ferris. 

The preacher went cheerfully to his work, exploring his charge, some- 
times on horseback, at other times on foot, preaching at different points 
wherever he could gather a congregation, on tavern stoops, and often pro- 
claiming the Gospel message from his horse’s back to the Sabbath-breakers 
of all classes, who, at times, resorted to the unsettled portions of the island 
for a Sabbath carousing. The following is an extract of a letter from the 
Rev. Ira Ferris, dated April 27, 1831, and addressed to the Secretary of the 
Missionary Society of the M. E. Church : 

“ When I came to this mission, I found one class, consisting of twenty- 
six members, and although for some time matters seemed quite discourag- 
ing, since the opening of the Spring the prospect has become much better. 



FORMATION AND EXTENT OF HARLEM MISSION 



27 



I have admitted, on trial, twenty-six, and by certificate and re-admission 
sixteen, so that we now have three classes, embracing sixty-eight members. 
If the mission be continued, as I think it ought to be, I have no doubt but 
that much good may be done.” 

In the Twelfth Annual Report (for the year 1830) of the Missionary 
Society of the M. E. Church, we read: “Harlaem Mission on York Island. 
At the last New York Annual Conference, (1830) a missionary was appointed 
to labour on this island adjacent to the city of New York. We regret to 
say that this mission has not realized the hopes of its friends. We arc 
informed, however, that latterly the prospect is more encouraging.” 

At the session of the New York Conference, held at Middletown, 
Conn., May 4, 1831, Bishops Soule and Hedding presiding, Harlem Mission 
was assigned to the Rev. Richard Seaman, M.D. 

In a communication addressed by him to the Corresponding Secretary 
of the Missionary Society of the M. E. Church, dated February 2, 1832, he 
writes: “* * * * Immediately after the Conference at Middletown, 1 

moved my family on the mission ground, and entered on my duty. I found 
three classes, containing fifty-five members; three preaching places and six 
appointments; two Sabbath Schools and a missionary society. I succeeded 
in obtaining three additional preaching places, one of which has since been 
given up. One member has died, fifteen have removed, and five proba- 
tioners have been dropped. I have admitted by certificate four, and on 
probation, nineteen. There are at present three classes, containing fifty- 
seven members, five preaching places and eight appointments; two Sabbath 
Schools containing one hundred and twenty-eight scholars; average attend- 
ance, seventy-two, and a missionary society. * " " 

“My reception on the mission ground has been very friendly, not only 
by the Methodist, but also by other denominations, and the public in 
general. At four of the preaching places the prospect is encouraging, and 
at the fifth, not altogether discouraging. W e suffer much inconvenience 
from the want of meeting-houses; many of the inhabitants are not disposed 
to attend religious worship in school-houses or private dwellings; it is also 
very difficult to obtain a congregation on any day of the week except on 



28 



FORMATION AND EXTENT OF HARLEM MISSION. 



the Sabbath. The cause of religion has certainly advanced on the mission. 
The congregations generally are more regular and much more attentive. 
Curiosity has given place to serious attention, which, with the Divine 
blessing, will, I hope, at no very distant period, eventuate in accessions to 
our little Zion.” 

In the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Missionary Society of the M. E. 
Church (for the year 1831), under the head of “Domestic Missions,” I find 
the following: “The Harlaem Mission, within the bounds of the N. Y. 
Conference, employs one missionary, and has fifty-three members. The 
work has gradually progressed during the past year, and the prospect of 
good is becoming more encouraging.” 

The following extract, dated August 14, 1832, and addressed to the 
Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society, of the M. E. Church, is 
from the pen of the Rev. Richard Seaman, M.D. : “ Dear Brother: — It be- 

comes my duty to make a quarterly report of the state of the Harlaem Mis- 
sion. Since my last, the cholera has made fearful inroads in a part of the 
mission ground — more particularly at Harlaem — at which place two of our 
members have died, viz., John Van Wart, a man decided in his character, 
pious and zealous. As a class leader he was much beloved by his class and 
Christian friends. He had sacrificed worldly prospects for spiritual gain, and 
he promised much usefulness to the Church. Sudden death to him, no 
doubt, has been sudden glory. And Mr. Bailey, who had experienced 
justifying grace, a short time previous to his death. He was pious, zealous 
and much beloved. In the death of these brethren, the Harlaem class has 
experienced a heavy loss. In consequence of the dreadful mortality at Har- 
laem, our meetings have been interrupted. We have, however, commenced 
them again with favorable prospects. 

“The Trustees of Harlaem have purchased eight lots of ground, with a 
house and out-buildings on them, for the purpose of building a meeting- 
house, etc. 

“We have about one thousand dollars subscribed, and expect to com- 
mence building as soon as possible.” 

In the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Missionary Society of the 



FORMATION AND EXTENT OF HARLEM MISSION. 29 

M. E. Church (for the year 1832), we read, “The Harlaem Mission presents 
a more encouraging prospect than it did last year. Besides adding thirty- 
two members to the Church, making in all eighty-five, the missionary has 
succeeded in purchasing some lots in the flourishing village of Harlaem, and 
has commenced building a house of worship.” 

In the Fifteenth Annual Report of the Missionary Society of the M. E. 
Church (for the year 1833), we find the following: “The Harlaem Mission 

has increased in interest and importance. The house of worship at the vil- 
lage of Harlaem, which was begun last year (1833)* has been completed 
and is now regularly occupied for Divine Service. There are four preaching 
places on this Mission and seventy-five Church members, and about one hun- 
dred and fifty Sabbath-school scholars.” 

In the Sixteenth Annual Report of the Missionary Society of the M. E. 
Church (for the year 1834), we extract the following: “On the Harlaem 

Mission another house of worship, of convenient size, has been built the past 
year (1834), on 41st Street, and the mission generally is prosperous.” 

I extract the following also from the report of Richard Seaman, and 
Wm. C. Hawley, to the Corresponding Secretary of the Missionary Society 
of the M. E. Church, dated, New York, April 13, 1835. “We have on the 
Harlaem Mission six preaching places and eleven appointments; six classes, 
numbering conjointly one hundred and one members; we have received on 
probation and by certificate fifty-nine ; thirty have removed, three have been 
dropped, and two have died. Increase this year, twenty-four. 

“We have three Sabbath Schools, six superintendents, twenty-three 
teachers, and three hundred and forty scholars; average attendance one 
hundred and fifty. 

“ There are three Sabbath libraries containing four hundred volumes. 
“We have also one infant school — twenty-five scholars. Our meet- 
ing-houses, viz., one at Harlaem, and the other on 41st Street, near the Sth 
Avenue, are finished, and have been occupied some time. 



*This establishes conclusively the date of the completion of the Harlaem M. E. Chuic h. 



IX.* 



Places where Methodist Religious Services were Held. 




N 1830, the year of the establishment of the Harlem Mission, 
religious services, according to Methodist usage, were first, and 
Jfv'' for a considerable time, held in the house of the late John 
14% James, on 125tli Street, between 3d and Lexington Avenues. 

Mr. James himself had prepared, as he styles it, “a rough 
pulpit,” and it was his custom to bring it into the room where 
religious services were held, on the Saturday evening previous, and to 
remove it on the Monday following. 

The congregations were not large, and the ministers (itinerant and lay) 
who officiated here, and in other places hired for Divine worship, were such 
men as Drs. Seaman, Reese, Kirby, Revs. Ferris, Ostrander, “Billy” Hib- 
bard, and others. 

The next place in which Methodist religious services were held, was in 
the store-part (then not otherwise used) of the dwelling located upon the 
north-east corner of 3d Avenue and 125th Street. 

The next place of worship was in a building, at that time, called the 
Academy (Harlem school), located on 120th Street, between the 2d and 3d 
Avenues. (The trustees of this school, until 1849, the common school 
for Harlem, were incorporated by the act of April 2, 1827, and then 
received a grant of money — $4,000 — part of the proceeds of the Harlem 
commons, with which they purchased a lot in 120th Street and erected a 
school house.) 

In the “Minutes of the Trustees of Harlaem School ” I find the follow- 
ing, under date of March 7, 1831: “ Resolved , That the Missionary Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church have the use of the upper room on Sun- 
day and Thursday evenings for one year, from the 1st of May next, at 
25-100 p. evening.” 



PLACES WHERE METHODIST SERVICES WERE HELD. 



31 



During the occupancy of the “upper room” of the Harlem school 
building, a watch night service, on New Year’s eve, was held. It seems 
that Dr. Seaman, who was purposing to preach that night, when on his way 
from New York to Harlem, in company with Dr. Reese, while driving along 
this side of Yorkville, in a wagon, was surprised by two men, who 
suddenly stepped out from the side of the road, one of whom took the 
horse by the bit and demanded their money. The doctor struck the horse 
with his whip, whereupon the horse started with a spring, and one of the 
would-be robbers fired his pistol. The ball struck Dr. Reese on his coat 
collar and glanced off. They, the doctors, escaped without further injury, 
and came into the meeting and related the incident to the congregation, 
causing not a little excitement. 

During week day evenings, prayer and class meetings were held at the 
house of Mrs. Lloyd, (now of Gloversville, State of New York) in the rear 
of the Reformed Church, corner of 3d Avenue and 121st Street, and who, 
with Mrs. James, I am informed, is the only surviving member of the 
original society. The number in attendance ranged from eight to ten and 
twenty. 



X. 



Plans and Beginnings for a House of Worship. 




N regard to the organization of “The Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Harlem,” the following appears in the minutes, 
dated April 16, 1832 : 

“Pursuant to a public notice given at least fifteen days 
previously, a meeting of the members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Harlem was held at the Academy in Harlem, this being 
the place where they statedly attend for Divine worship, for the purpose of 
electing Trustees for said Church. 



“Rev. R. Seaman was called to the chair, and John Van Wart appointed 
Secretary. The meeting then proceeded to ballot for Inspectors of the 
Polls, when George Edwards and Ananias Platt were duly elected. The 
meeting then proceeded to elect seven Trustees, and on canvassing the 
votes, the following persons were declared by the Inspectors to be duly 
elected, viz : Joseph Smith, Andrew C. Wheeler, Isaac Platt, Thomas 
Vaughn, Benjamin Disbrow, John Van Wart, and John James. 

“Their term of service was as follows: Joseph Smith and A C. 
Wheeler, one year; Isaac Platt and Thomas Vaughn, two years; B. 
Disbrow, Jno. Van Wart and J. James, three years. 

“ Resolved , That the name or title by which said Trustees and their suc- 
cessors shall be forever hereafter called and known, is the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church in Harlem. 

“ The meeting then adjourned. 



“Richd. Seaman, Chairman , 
“John Van Wart, Secretary. 



“Immediately after the election, the Trustees met and organized, and 





Rev. RICHARD SEAMAN, M.D. 



PLANS AND BEGINNINGS FOR A HOUSE OF WORSHIP. 



33 



elected Isaac Platt, Chairman, and John Van Wart, Secretary, for the 
ensuing year. 

“Meeting adjourned. 

“John Van Wart, Secretary .” 

From the following it appears that the subject of the purchase of a site 
and the erection of a “meeting house,” had been discussed and agreed 
upon : 

“May 3d, 1832, a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Harlem, was held at the house of Richard Seaman. 
Richard Seaman was appointed Chairman pro tem. The meeting was 
opened with prayer by the chairman. 

“ Present, Joseph Smith, Andrew C. Wheeler, Isaac Platt, Thomas 
Vaughn, Benjamin Disbrow, John Van Wart and John James. 

“ The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

“ Resolved, That we purchase the ground of James Flanagan, Esq., for 
a site for a meeting house. 

“ Resolved , That a committee of three be appointed for that purpose. 
R. Seaman, B. Disbrow, J. Van Wart were, on motion, appointed. Benja- 
min Disbrow was appointed Treasurer. 

“The meeting then adjourned. 

“John Van Wart, Secy. 1 ' 

“ May 14, 1832. 

“A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Harlem, was held in the lecture-room attached to the M. E. Church in 
Forsyth Street, in the city of New York. R. Seaman was appointed Chair- 
man pro tem. The meeting was opened with prayer by the chairman. 

“Present, Joseph Smith, And. C. Wheeler, I. Platt, Thos. Vaughn, B. 
Disbrow, J. Van Wart and J. James. 

“ The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

“ Resolved , That we reconsider the resolution to purchase land of J. 
Flanagan, Esq. Resolved , That we purchase land of Danl. P. Ingraham, Esq., 



(5) 



34 PLANS AND BEGINNINGS FOR A HOUSE OF WORSHIP. 



for a site for a meeting house. Resolved , That I. Platt, T. Vaughn and J. 
James be added to the Purchasing Committee. The meeting adjourned. 

“John Van Wart, SedyR 



It seems that the former incorporation, referred to in the minutes of 
the meeting held April 16, 1832, was deemed illegal, and, accordingly, 
“June 4, 1832, pursuant to public notice given at least fifteen days 
previously, a meeting of the members of the M. E. Church in Harlem was 
held at the Academy in Harlem, that being the place where they statedly 
attend for Divine worship, for the purpose of electing Trustees for said 
church, the former incorporation being illegal. 

“U. Seaman was appointed Chairman, and Isaac Platt was appointed 
Secretary. The meeting proceeded to ballot for inspectors of the poll, 
when Isaac Platt and John Van Wart were duly elected. 

“The meeting then proceeded to elect seven Trustees, and on canvass- 
ing the votes, the following persons were declared by the inspectors to be 
duly elected, viz: Joseph Smith, Andrew C. Wheeler, Benjamin Disbrow, 
Isaac Platt, Thomas Vaughn, John Van Wart and John James, to serve as 
such Trustees of the M. E. Church in Harlem. 

“ Resolved , That the name or title by which the said Trustees and their 
successors shall be forever hereafter called and known is the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Harlem. 



“Richd. Seaman, Chairman, 
“Isaac Platt, Secretary.' 1 '' 



At a subsequent meeting of the Board of Trustees, the committee 
appointed to purchase “a site for a meeting house” report, and it is 
resolved to build a house for Divine worship, the size, &c., of which is very 
minutely given. 



PLANS AND BEGINNINGS FOR A HOUSE OF WORSHIP. 



35 



1182515 “ October 13, 1832. 

“A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in Harlem was held at the house of Andrew C. Wheeler, on the 2d 
Avenue. 

“The meeting was opened with prayer by Joseph Smith. Benjamin 
Disbrow was elected Chairman for the ensuing year, and Andrew C. 
Wheeler was appointed Secretary pro tem. 

“Present, J. Smith, B. Disbrow, T. Vaughn, A. C. Wheeler. 

“The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

“The committee appointed, consisting of R. Seaman, B. Disbrow, J. 
Van Wart, I. Platt, T. Vaughn and J. James, to purchase ground for the 
site of a meeting house in Harlem, reported that they had purchased eight 
lots, having on them a dwelling house and a barn, of Danl. P. Ingraham, 
Esq., situate on 125th and 126th Streets, between the 3d and 4th Avenues, 
for $2,000, on which a mortgage had been given for that amount at 
six per cent. 

“ Resolved , That we build a house for Divine worship on said lots, forty- 
five feet front and sixty feet deep, with a basement story nine and a half 
feet in the clear, viz : four and a half under ground and five feet above 
ground, and that the house be twenty feet post in the clear, without 
galleries, but to be prepared for galleries. 

“ Resolved , That the house be set twenty feet back from 125th Street, 
or thereabouts, to be on a line with the dwelling house, and to front 125th 
Street. The sides and rear of the house to be covered with Albany boards, 
planed and beaded; the front to be covered with narrow boards, planed 
and beaded, and finished with a pediment; the roof to be covered with 
three feet shingles of a good quality, laid nine inches to the weather, the 
whole to have two good coats of white paint. 

“ Resolved , That it be seated with seats similar to the basement of 
Greene Street Church, and that the seats have two good coats of green 
paint and two good coats of varnish. 

“There shall be four windows on each side, seventy-two panes, each 



3G 



PLANS AND BEGINNINGS FOR A HOUSE OF WORSHIP. 



eight by ton, viz: twelve panes high and six wide; two windows of the 
same size in the rear; two windows in front, eight panes high and six wide; 
also a circular window in the pediment, and two doors in front with 
fan-lights. 

“ Resolved , That J. Smith, B. Disbrow, A. C. Wheeler and R. Seaman, 
be a committee to draw a plan and receive proposals for building said 
house. 

“ Resolved , That we receive proposals from the following persons only, 
viz: J. B. Bunting, Mr. Everitt, T. Baldwin, D. Fowler, J. Carr, F. Yan 
Tassell and Wm P. Morse. 

“ Meeting adjourned. 

“And. C. Wheeler, Secy. 1 ' 



The following is the record of the business transacted at the meeting of 
the Board of Trustees, held “December 18, 1832:” 

“A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the M. E. Church in Harlem 
was held at the house of A. C. Wheeler, 2d Avenue. Benj. Disbrow took 
the chair, and the meeting was opened with prayer. 

“Present, B. Disbrow, J. Smith, T. Vaughn, J. James and A. C. 
Wheeler. 

“The minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

'■'•Resolved, That the term of service of the Trustees be determined by 
ballot, which resulted as follows, viz: Joseph Smith, Thos. Vaughn and 
Andw. C. Wheeler, to serve for one year; John James and John Van 
Wart, for two years; and Benjn. Disbrow and Isaac Platt for three years. 

“ Resolved } That B. Disbrow be Treasurer of this Board for one year. 

“ Resolved , That John James be Secretary for one year. 

“The specifications for the carpenter’s and mason’s work were pre- 
sented by the committee and adopted. Closed with prayer. 

“Adjourned. 



“ And. C. Wheeler, Sec'y pro tem. 11 



PLANS AND BEGINNINGS FOR A HOUSE OF WORSHIP. 



37 



“ Jan. 31, 1833. 

“A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the M. E. Church in Harlem 
was held at the house of A. C. Wheeler, 2d Avenue. B. Disbrow took the 
chair. The meeting was opened with prayer by Walter Booth. 

“Present, B. Disbrow, J. James, Thos. Vaughn and A. C. Wheeler. 

“Minutes of the last meeting were read and approved. 

“ Resolved , That we reconsider the resolution to build a house for 
divine worship at Harlem according to the plan agreed upon. 

“ Resolved , That we build a house forty by fifty feet, or forty by fifty- 
five feet, to be determined when the estimates are handed in. 

“ Resolved , That the height of the posts of the house be from twenty to 
twenty-two feet, to be left to the decision of the Building Committee. 

“Meeting adjourned. 

“And. C. Wheeler, Sec'y pro tem.” 



The minutes of the next meeting of the Board of Trustees record their 
final action in reference to the erection of a “meeting house.” 



“ April 9, 1833. 

“ A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the M. E. Church in Harlem, 
was held at the house of Bichard Seaman, 7 Division Street. B. Disbrow 
took the chair, and the meeting was opened with prayer. 

“A. C. Wheeler was appointed Secretary pro tem. 

“Present, J. Smith, Thos. Vaughn, A. C. Wheeler, B. Disbrow. 

“Minutes of the last meeting read and approved. 

“ Resolved , That we build according to the first plan and first estimate, 
provided we can raise $2,500 by bond and mortgage. 

“ Adjourned. 



“And. C. Wheeler, Sec' y pro tem.” 



38 



PLANS AND BEGINNINGS FOR A HOUSE OF WORSHIP. 



“April 23, 1834. 

u A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the M. E. Church in Harlem, 
was held at the house of John James, Harlem. B. Disbrow took the chair, 
and the meeting was opened with prayer by R. Seaman. 

“Present, J. Smith, B. Disbrow, Thos. Vaughn, I. Platt, J. James and 
A. C. Wheeler. Doct. W. Booth, the Missionary, was also present. A. C. 
Wheeler was appointed Secretary pro tem. 

“ The Board examined the contract for building the meetingdiouse , and 
also the building , and concluded that the carpenter's ivork was well done , and 
that the mason had fulfilled his contract A 

“Thos. Vaughn and John James were appointed a committee to 
attend to repairs about the church and house. 

“ Benj. Disbrow and Richard Seaman were appointed a committee to 
audit and settle the extra bill for building the church. 

“Benjamin Disbrow was appointed to obtain an insurance on the meet- 
ing-house for three thousand dollars. Adjourned, with prayer. 

“And. C. Wheeler, Sec' y pro tem." 



* In order to understand this, it must be remembered that the audience-room was first, and for 
some time previously, completed, and used for Divine worship, before the basement was ready for 
occupancy. 



XI. 



Laying of the Corner Stone and Dedication. 




I ^ HE following facts relating to the establishment of the Harlem 
Mission, its extent, the state of Methodism in the city of New 
York and in the United States, and other interesting facts, are 



copied from a paper written by the Rev. Richard Seaman, M.D., 
bearing date July 18, 1833, having been placed, along with other 
articles, in the leaden box that was deposited in the corner stone on 
the occasion of its being laid, and plainly showing the time of the celebra- 



tion of that interesting event: 



“The Harlaem Mission was established by the Missionary Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, in the year 1830. Reverend Ira Ferris was 
appointed Missionary for that year and was succeeded by Rev. Richard 
Seaman, who continued two years. 

“In 1833, Walter Booth, M.D., was appointed Missionary, and Richard 
Seaman supernumerary, in charge of the mission, at which time there were 
seventy-one members and six preaching places, viz: Harlaem, Rose Hill, 
8th Avenue, corner of 38th Street; Blooming Dale, Manhattan Ville and 
Fort Washington. The mission extends from Kings Bridge and Harlaem to 
20th Street, comprehending the whole of York Island, except the city. 

“Joseph Smith, Andrew C. Wheeler, Benjamin Disbrow, Isaac Platt, 
Thomas Vaughn, John Van Wart and John James, are Trustees, and Joseph 
Smith, A. C. Wheeler, Benjamin Disbrow and Richard Seaman, are the 
Building Committee; Jacob P. Bunting, Mason, and William P. Morse, 
Carpenter, being contractors to do the work this year, 1833. 

“William McKendree, Robert R. Roberts, Joshua Soule, Elijah Red- 
ding, James 0. Andrew and John Emory, Bishops. 

“Samuel Merwin, Presiding Elder of the New York District. 



40 



LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE AND DEDICATION. 



“New York East Circuit: Laban Clark, Daniel Ostrander, Benjamin 
Griffin, Parmele Chamberlin, Paul R. Brown, 

“West Circuit: Peter P. Sandford, Fitch Reed, Charles W. Carpenter, 
John C. Green and Josiah Bowen. 

“In the Book Room: Nathan Bangs, Editor; John P. Durbin, Editor 
of the Christian Advocate and Journal , etc. ; Timothy Merritt, assistant 
ditto; Beverly Waugh and Thomas Mason, Book Agents. 

“There are now in the United States 2,200 Traveling Preachers in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church; 548,593 Church members in the United States, 
and 5,235 Church members in the city of New York. 

“1833. Officers of the Civil Government: Andrew Jackson, President 
of the United States; Martin Yan Buren, Vice-President; William L. Marcy, 
Governor of the State of New York; John Tracy, Lieutenant Governor; 
Gideon Lee, Mayor of the City of New York. 

“A Bible, Methodist Hymn Book, Discipline, Christian Advocate and 
Journal and Zion's Herald , a daily paper, are herewith deposited; also, 
some specimens of American coin, in a leaden box prepared and presented 
for the purpose by Mr. Abraham Brower. 

“Richard Seaman.” 

It is very interesting to know that the late venerable Nathan Bangs, 
D.D., preached the sermon on the occasion of the laying of the corner-stone, 
taking as his text, the words recorded in the First Epistle of Paul to the 
Corinthians, 3 : 10-15 verses. Another very interesting feature on this 
occasion, was, that the pupils of the Harlem Academy, under the leadership 
of their Principal, were present, and, at the conclusion of the services, joined 
in singing the doxology, “ Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing,” &c. 

The dedication of the church, or “meeting-house,” as it was called, 
occurred on Thursday afternoon, December 12, 1833, the Rev. Dr. John 
Kennaday officiating in the absence of the Rev. Samuel Merwin, Presiding 
Elder of the New York District. The text upon which the discourse on this 
interesting occasion was based, may be found in Colossians, 1st chapter, 
28 th verse. 



THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN HARLEM, 
125th St., Between 3d and 4th Avenues. 






XII. 



Ceremonies on Taking Leave of the Old Church. 



N anticipation of discontinuing Divine worship in the old 
church, at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees of the 




:$k 



Harlem M. E. Church, held October 7, 1870, “it was, on 
¥ motion, resolved that the final service be held in the church, on 
Sunday, November 6, 1870.” At a subsequent special meeting of 
the Trustees, (October 24, 1870,) “on motion, James Davis was 
appointed a committee to make all necessary arrangements for the same.” 
The following notice appeared in the Christian Advocate of November 



3, 1870: 

“ Harlem Church — The Harlem M. E. Church, being about to remove 
to their new edifice, will hold farewell services on Sunday, November 6th, 
at the present location, 125th Street, between 3d and 4th Avenues. The 
morning services will be conducted by former pastors, commencing at 10£ 
o’clock. Afternoon, at 2^ o’clock, a reunion of former pastors and members. 
Rev. James M. Freeman, D.D., will preach in the evening at 7| o’clock. 
Former pastors and members, and the friends of the church, are cordially 
invited to be present. In behalf of the Trustees. 



“James Davis, Pres't .” 



The New York Times of November 7, 1870, thus refers to the matter: 
“Farewell memorial services were held in the old edifice on 125th 
Street, near 4th Avenue, yesterday, (Nov. 6.) The morning service took 
the form of a Sacramental love feast, whereat former pastors delivered short 
addresses, or related their Christian experience, and gave some reminiscences 
of olden times, when Harlem was but a village and New York a good- 
sized town. In the afternoon at 2^ o'clock, there was a reunion of former 



( 6 ) 



42 CEREMONIES ON TAKING LEAVE OF THE OLD CHURCH. 



members, pastors ancl friends, and a general time of rejoicing was held for 
two and a half hours. Rev. James M. Freeman, D.D., a former pastor, 
preached in the evening, and the church was crowded at every service. 

“In the afternoon, the Pastor, Rev. G. H. Corey, D.D., read a sketch of 
the history of the old church, and many of the old veterans, former pastors 
of the church, who were present, related their early experiences in traveling 
through the woods and sloughs of Harlem and Manhattanville, some of them 
walking from Hammond Street to Harlem, thence to Washington Heights, 
and thence to Manhattanville, to fill their three appointments on the Sab- 
bath. The contrast between the past and the present was very striking, 
and very few of the audience were aware of the difficulties that beset the 
early Methodist pioneers in the upper end of the city.” 

From another source I learn that “all the former pastors were invited, 
a large audience was in attendance, and after the Sacrament of the Lord’s 
Supper Avas administered, the Pastor of the church read a paper reciting the 
origin and growth of the church up to the date of leaving it, after which the 
ReA'. Dr. E. H. Gillett, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, made an interest- 
ing address. There Avere also other addresses.” 



XIII. 



History of the Beginning, Progress and Completion of 
St. James 1 M. E. Church. 




HE first attempt in the direction of enlarging the old church of 
which we have any record, is found in the minutes of the Board 
of Trustees, under date of May 30, 1S59, in which it is stated 
W® that, “the Committee on Building presented a plan drawn by 
Messrs. Winham and Fornbach, for a brick front, Arc ,” which was 
approved. 

At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees, held at the residence of 
James Davis, June 2, 1859, the minutes read: “The subject of the altera- 
tion of the church Avas taken up. The plans and specifications of Winham 
and Fornbach, presented by the Committee on Building, were approved. 
On motion, the official members of this church Avere requested to be notified 
from the pulpit to meet on Monday evening, June 6th, in class-room No. 2, 
for the purpose of consulting on a plan to enlarge the church.” 

At a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, held June 27, 1859, the 
“Committee on Building report a meeting held in the lecture-room, on the 
the evening of June 20th, to consider the subject of enlarging the church 
edifice. After expressions of various AueAVS on the subject, the meeting 
adjourned to meet on the second Friday in July.” 

At “ a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Harlem M. E. 
Church, held in class-room No. 2, Monday evening, July 25th, 1859, on 
motion, the Secretary was requested to procure the minutes of the special 
meetings called by this Board and copy them in regular order.” 

The minutes are as follows: “At a meeting held June 21, 1859, by the 
members and congregation of this church, called by the Board of Trustees, 



44 BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 



to take into consideration the subject of enlarging the church, brother 
was called to the chair. Prayer by brother Brothers 



and , in behalf of the Trustees, submitted a plan to enlarge the front 

part of the church; also, oue to enlarge the church in the rear with galleries. 
*- * -x- -x- -x- x- x- 



“ Brother moved that we deem it inexpedient to enlarge the 

church at the present time. , 

“Seconded by brother 

“Brother moved that we adjourn to meet on the second 

Friday evening in July, at 8 o’clock. Carried.” 

An adjourned meeting of the members and congregation of the Harlem 
M. E. Church, called by the Board of Trustees, to take into consideration 
the subject of enlarging the church, was held July 8, 1859. 

“Brother moved that the following resolutions be submitted 

in place of that of brother 

“ Resolved , That in the opinion of this meeting, a necessity exists for 
increased accommodation to those who desire to attend public worship in 
this church, and that we recommend the Trustees to take such measures as 
they may deem proper to furnish the same, either by the erection of a new 
building, or of such additions to the present building, in accordance with 
the plans submitted by them for a new front, as may, in their judgment, 
best promote the object. 

“Brother moved that the resolution be divided, so as to read 

as follows : 

“ Resolved , That in the opinion of this meeting, a necessity exists for 
increased accommodation to those who desire to attend public worship in 
this church. Carried. 



“Brother moved to adjourn to meet Friday evening, July 

15. Carried.” 

A meeting was held pursuant to adjournment, July 15, 1859. On 

motion of brother , an adjournment followed to Friday evening, 

July 22, 1859. 



An adjourned meeting was held July 22, 1859. On motion of 



BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 45 



brother the ayes and noes were taken on the resolution olfered 

by brother , July 8, 1859, and resulted in twelve yeas and six 



nays. Adjourned. 

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, held August 29, 1859, “a com- 
mittee, consisting of James Davis, James Wood, H. H. Gregory and James 
Stephens, was appointed to consider the best method of presenting the 
subject of enlarging or re-building the church.” 

A second attempt to build a new church was made in the Autumn of 
1866, the year of the Centenary Jubilee of American Methodism, during 
the pastorate of Rev. Dr. McKown, on the suggestion of Mr. Gardner 
Landon, Sr., a member of the Board of Stewards 

The proposition was heartily endorsed, some money was raised, but the 
project subsequently failed. One or two similar efforts were afterwards 
made in the same direction and shared a similar fate. 

It was not, however, until the Fall of 1869, during the pastorate of 
the Rev. George H. Corey, D.D., (to whose unflinching purpose, indomi- 
table energy, and tireless efforts, coupled with those of his brethren, both 
lay and official, and the blessing of God, Methodism in Harlem owes its 
position and influence) that the eligible site on the north-east corner of 
Madison Avenue and 126th Street was purchased, and the imposing struc- 
tures, the church edifice, chapel and parsonage erected thereon. 

About the same time of the year a society meeting was called in the 
old church, and, after an earnest address by the pastor, a series of resolu- 
tions was offered by J. Ralsey White, M.D., seconded by H. H. Gregory, 
M.D., “authorizing the Trustees to begin the new church and pledging the 
sympathy and co-operation of the congregation." 

The occasion is described as “a very enthusiastic service, rivalling the 
excitement of ail old-fashioned camp meeting.” 

In the latter part of October of the same year, (1869) the first opening 
in the ground was made by the pastor of the church, at the corner of 
Madison Avenue and 126th Street, precisely where the main tower stands. 
Several others, ladies, followed his example, by turning over a shovelful of 
ground. 



46 BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 



The following, relating to the laying of the corner-stone of the church, 
is taken from the Christian Advocate of April 14, 1870: 

“The corner-stone of the fine new edifice in course of erection for the 
125th Street M. E. Church, Harlem, was held on Saturday last (April 9th) 
with appropriate religious services. * * * * * 

“The official act of laying the monumental stone was impressively per- 
formed by Bishop Janes. Dr. H. B. Ridgaway made an appropriate and elo- 
quent address. Rev. Mr. McYicar, of the Episcopal Church, a most catholic- 
spirited and devoted clergyman, participated in the exercises. A brief 
address was also made by Dr. Ferris, Presiding Elder of the district. The 
services were conducted by the Pastor, Rev. G. H. Corey, under whose 
persistent efforts this enterprise has been brought to so promising a 
condition.” 

From another source I gather the following: “The corner-stone was 
laid during the session of the New York Conference, at 30th Street M. E. 
Church, which occurred April 6 to 11, 1870. Bishop E. S. Janes, H. B. 
Ridgaway, G. H. Corey and W. H. Ferris, participated in the exercises. 

“ Bishop Janes formally laid the corner-stone. In the box were a list 
of the membership of the church and its official men, its former pastors, a 
photograph of the old church and of the new, the New York daily papers, 
Christian Advocate , Methodist , and the names of the Ladies 1 Aid Society. 
There was a very large attendance, and the services were interesting.” 

Speaking of the first service in the chapel of the new church, the 
Christian Advocate of November 17, 1870, says: “An interesting day in 
Harlem. The first M. E. Church of Harlem, Rev. G. Id. Corey, D D., 
Pastor, held service on Sunday last (November 13,) in the Sunday-school 
room (chapel) of their new and partially completed church, on the corner of 
126th Street and Madison Avenue. There was no formal dedication of the 
chapel, and there will not be until the entire edifice is completed.” * * * 

The Neiv York Times of November 14, 1870, thus speaks of the event: 
“ Yesterday (November 13th,) the First Methodist Episcopal Church 
of Harlem moved into its new quarters on the corner of 126th Street and 
Madison Avenue. Services were held in the Sunday-school room, a large 



BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 47 



and spacious hall on the second floor of the south wing. The place was 
crowded with worshippers. There was no formal dedication of the chapel 
yesterday, (November 13) and there will not be until the entire edifice is 
completed. 

“In the morning, the Rev. G. H. Corey preached from the text, the 
second chapter of Haggai, ninth verse : ‘ The glory of this latter house shall 
be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of Hosts.’ 

“ The treatment of the subject differed somewhat from the general treat- 
ment of this text in the pulpits. After showing that the idea of worship is 
innate in the human heart, and that among every condition of society, rude 
or cultured, savage or civilized, it is concreted in one form or another, Mr. 
Corey then showed that the place of worship was as necessary as the being. 
Then following out the crude or elaborate ideas of the ancients in setting 
apart places of worship, he traced them down to the Israelites, who, while 
in the wilderness, erected a tabernacle, but when in possession of their own 
land, and surrounded with wealth and luxury, they erected a temple which, 
for splendor and magnificence, never has been and never will be equalled. 
Prideaux valued the gold inlaying of the temple at $21,000,000. The 
glory of the latter house referred to in the text, if taken literally, could not 
be true. It was larger, but not so costly or magnificent. As usually in- 
terpreted, the presence of Christ in the latter edifice is considered as its 
excellent glory, but this the preacher believed to be an incorrect view. 
Jehovah dwelt in the first temple, and Jesus, though equal with, cannot be 
greater than God. He believed that the text had a far wider signification 
than is generally given to it, and that it refers to the Christian Church, 
whose chief glory is that it substitutes a spiritual for a ceremonial worship, 
and hence there is no peculiar sacredness of place or persons. Every be- 
liever is a priest, and wherever two or three are gathered in the Master’s 
name, there He is, and there, too, is the Church. The glory of the latter 
house consists also in spirituality of devotion that antagonizes all formality 
and insincerity. Nevertheless, the Christian Church has its symbols, ap- 
pointments, and opportunities, all of which were plainly and forcibly 
brought to the notice and consideration of the audience, and they were 



48 BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 



earnestly urged to yield, full and ready obedience to God's commands. 
Mr. Corey preached again in the evening.’’ 

At a meeting of the joint Board of Trustees and Stewards, held March 
27, 1871, “it was resolved that this meeting recommend that the corporate 
name of the church be the ‘ St. James Methodist Episcopal Church at Har- 
lem,’ and that the subject of changing the corporate name be submitted to a 
meeting of the Society on Sunday next (April 2, 1871), by the President of 
the Board of Trustees.” 

In accordance with this recommendation, “a public meeting of the So- 
ciety was held Sunday, April 2, 1871, at the chapel at the close of the morn- 
ing sermon. Brother Corey presided. D. J. Dean was elected Secretary of 
the meeting. 

“The object of the meeting having been stated by Brother Davis, after 
a discussion, which was largely participated in, the following resolution was 
adopted : 

“That the corporate name of the church shall be ‘the St. James M. E. 
Church at Harlem,’ and that the Trustees be requested to take the necessary 
steps to make the change.” 

The Christian Advocate , of May 18, 1871, thus speaks of the dedication 
of St. James M. E. Church. 

“ The new and beautiful St. Janies Methodist Episcopal Church, corner 
of 126th Street and Madison Ave., in this City, Rev. Dr. H. B. Ridgaway, 
Pastor, was dedicated on Sunday last, May 14. 

“Bishop Janes preached in the morning, Rev. B. I. Ives, in the after- 
noon, and Rev. Dr. J. P. Newman, of Washington, in the evening. Bishop 
Janes conducted the dedicatory service, and Rev. B. I, Ives managed (with 
his usual ability and success) the call for the collection. Rev. S. D. Brown, 
Rev. Dr. Crooks, Rev. George II. Corey, D.D., a former pastor, and other 
ministers, participated in the services. The sermons were able, and very 
great interest was felt throughout. The entire cost of the property was 
$123,000. Of this amount, $46,500 had been paid, and $40,000 arranged 
for a sinking fund. The balance, $36,500, was presented to the audience, 
and subscriptions called for to the amount. Large as the sum was, the whole 





Rev. GEORGE H. COREY, D.D. 



BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 



49 



sum was raised at the morning service. Subscriptions were added during 
the afternoon and evening, increasing the collection for the day to forty-three 
thousand dollars . Grandly done! 

The following appeared in the New York Times , May 15, 1871 : 

“St. James Methodist Episcopal Church, on 126th Street, Harlem, was 
opened for public service, for the first time, yesterday morning, (May 14.) 

“ The beautiful edifice was crowded with a fashionable audience, who 
occupied all the seats and standing-room both on the floor and in the galler- 
ies, and even overflowed into the lobby. After the chant, the ritual service 
of dedication was read by Rev, Henry B. Ridgaway, pastor of the church. 
Bishop Simpson, who had been expected to preach, having sent word that 
he was too unwell to come, Bishop Janes delivered the sermon, taking as 
his text, Isaiah 6 : 1-8 verses, dwelling particularly upon the clause in the 
eighth verse, ‘Here am I, send me.’ 

“The Bishop spoke of the universality of God’s rule. He rules all the 
governments of the earth, and when His dominion shall be extended as 
prophecy has foretold it, will fill all the earth. God’s rule is love. He 
hears all and grants His countenance to all who come to Him. If rve can 
not join the grand congregations we can at least come to Him personally 
and socially. Social worship is the highest form of worship. In this 
world we need to come personally to the mercy seat. In the social meet- 
ings of the week and at the family altar, are the highest services to God. 
Concerning conversions, Bishop Janes said: The inspiration in conversion 
must come from the heart, and not from the reason. We may reason on 
religious subjects, compare ourselves with others, decide that this one is 
moral, and that one religious, that this one is good, and that one bad, and 
yet there is no conviction of sin. This is wrong ; we must compare our- 
selves not with other men, but with the one great standard, God, and then 
in comparison with His goodness we shall feel our weakness and wicked- 
ness as they are, and not as we have supposed them to be. 

“When we are once thus convinced of sin, our hearts are touched and 
God’s law reveals to us the plan of salvation. As in the case of Isaiah, in 
the very moment of deepest self-abasement, and misery, the spirit of the 



( 7 ) 



50 BEGINNING , PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 



Lord comes down upon us, and the work of regeneration commences. 
Pardoned and regenerated, forgiven and sanctified, and the witness of it in 
the heart. Oh! the effect of such a conversion. To feel that our sin is for- 
given and our heart renewed. What a wonderful blessing it is. But to 
attain it the heart must be touched. Appeals to the reason are inefficient. 
It is this inspiration which comes forth out of the heart which brings men 
into the Church ; which inspires men to labor, suffer and die for the Church ; 
which brings our young men into the ministry. 

“When a young man is filled full of this spirit, he does not stop for the 
labors and hardships which may be before him, but he enters at once into 
the Church, and he does it at the time of his conversion. He does not wait 
six or seven years, till he has failed in every other occupation, and then 
conclude that the Lord has called him to the ministry, but he throws 
himself heart and soul into the work at once. This is the inspiration which 
takes our men and women into the Sunday-school; which makes men rise 
up at once when there is a call for money, and say, ‘Lord, here am I.’ If 
we have not this, we have not the religion of God. It is this kind of spirit 
by which men are saved, and not by sacramental religion. May that spirit 
inspire the Church, may it direct every service, may it be with the pastor, 
with the workers of the Sunday-school, even with the trustees wdio have 
charge of the funds, and may it descend upon all here and make each one a 
temple of God for His service. 

“The Rev. Mr. Ives followed Bishop Janes with a brief exhibition of 
the financial situation of the congregation : The whole church establish- 
ment, including the land, parsonage, organ, parlor furniture, &c., has cost 
one hundred and twenty-three thousand dollars. 

“ The consummation of such a magnificent work, he thought, highly 
creditable to a congregation that was small in number and by no means re- 
markable for wealth. Forty-six thousand five hundred dollars had been 
realized toward the cost of the church; forty thousand dollars it had been 
decided to fund as debt, and the remainder, thirty-six thousand five hundred 
dollars, must be raised by contributions at once. 

“Secretaries were then appointed, and under the dexterous guidance 



BEGINNING, PROGRESS AND COMPLETION OF CHURCH. 



51 



of Mr. Ives, the astounding sura of more than thirty-three thousand dollars 
was raised upon the spot, in contributions ranging from ten dollars to two 
thousand dollars. Further contributions were handed in during the day, 
which more than made up the whole sum required. 

“In the afternoon, Rev. Mr. Ives preached to another very large con- 
gregation on ‘The Glorious Gospel of Christ,’ 2 Cor. 4:4., 

“In the evening, Rev. J. P. Newman, of Washington, preached from 
Isaiah 21 : 11, and the formal dedication was had. 

“Bishop Janes officiated.’’ 

From St. James there have gone forth, from time to time, colonies who 
have been instrumental in planting the Second Avenue, the 125tli Street 
and the North New York Methodist Episcopal Churches. 



XIV. 



Sketches of the Pastors both Living and Dead. 




REV. IRA FERRIS. 



HE Rev. Ira Ferris was born in Roxbury, Delaware County, 
New York, July 6, 1804. In the Fall of 1818, under the 
f preaching of the Rev. James Young, he was awakened to a 
consciousness of sin, and the following week, while in secret 
prayer, was happily converted to God, and received into the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church, in Gilboa, Delaware County, by the Rev. 
Arnold Schofield. 

He was licensed to exhort March 25, 1822, by the Rev. John Bangs. 

He received a local preacher’s license February 4, 1824, and was em- 
ployed by the Rev. Daniel Ostrander, (whose daughter he subsequently 
married) Presiding Elder, as junior preacher on Delaware Circuit. In the 
Spring of 1824 he was received on probation in the New York Conference 
and appointed to Sullivan Circuit, with Daniel De Vinne. 

In 1826 he was received into full connection with the Conference, and 
ordained deacon, by Bishop Hedding. 

In 1828 he was ordained an elder, by Bishop Hedding. 

During these years he was regularly and successively appointed to 
various circuits in the bounds of the New York Conference. 

In 1828-9 he traveled Flushing Circuit, Long Island; and in 1830 he 
was appointed to Harlem Mission, in the upper part of New York Island, at 
that time the most unpromising field of work in the New York Conference, 
embracing all of New York Island above 18th Street. He found a small 
society at Rose Hill, the nucleus of the present Twenty-seventh Street 
Church. 

Early in the year he made an appointment for regular service at the 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



53 



Academy in Yorkville, used to ride there on Sunday mornings, himself 
build the fire, ring the bell and call his congregation. 

God owned his labors in the awakening and conversion of sinners; a 
class was formed, the nucleus of the present Eighty-sixth Street Church. 

At that time there was a member of our Church, by the name of Platt, 
living at Harlem Bridge, as bridge-keeper, and the proprietor of a public 
house. The preacher made this man’s house his home, and preached in a 
school house, near at hand. 

The work prospered, and during the year he made arrangements to 
build a church, and expected in another year to have accomplished the 
work, but on account of sickness in his family, was obliged to move at the 
end of the year, and was appointed to the New Rochelle Circuit. 

Mr. Ferris was an able minister of Christ, distinguished for soundness 
of mind, clearness of intellect, genuine humility and a devotional spirit; 
while his decision of character gave him strong, unflinching courage in his 
work. An able theologian, he reasoned like Paul, and as Apollos, he was 
mighty in the Scriptures. He performed his work in the ministry for forty- 
six years, entering sweetly and rejoicingly into rest, March 12, 18G9, attain- 
ing the object of his life, to die on the field of battle, and realizing his 
highest ambition, “to finish his course with joy, and the ministry, which he 
had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.” 



REV. RICHARD SEAMAN, JVI.D. 

Rev. Richard Seaman was born April 28, 1785, and died November 
6, 1864, aged 80. 

When a little over fourteen he left the home of his childhood, Herricks, 
L. I., and came to New York, where he became a clerk in a drug store. 

He immediately commenced the study of medicine, and when about 
nineteen was a licensed practising physician. At the age of twenty-one he 
was appointed resident physician of the almshouse. In the Fall of 1812, 



54 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LI VINO AND DEAD. 



with the deliberation and firmness which strongly marked his chai’acter, he 
resolved to devote his life to God’s service. 

In 1823, he was received on trial in the New York Conference, and 
was regularly appointed to different fields of labor for twenty-two years, 
when, in 1845, through failure of health, he was obliged to take a super- 
annuated relation. He, however, continued to labor faithfully according to 
his ability and opportunities, until entirely disabled by disease. Several 
churches in the upper part of this city are largely indebted for their estab- 
lishment to his self-sacrificing labor and contributions. 

During the last thirteen years of his life he was a great sufferer. 
The death of his wife in 1861, who had been his faithful companion for 
nearly fifty years, severed the last tie which attached him to this world. 
At the house of his brother and in the midst of his kindred, he passed 
away to his reward, exclaiming, u 0 my Saviour, how I love Thee!” 



REV. S. HUESTON. 

The Rev. S. ITueston was assistant pastor to the Rev. Dr. Seaman 
during the conference year, 1833. 

Further than this, I have not been able to obtain any information re- 
specting him. 



REV. JOHN LUCKEY. 

Rev. John Luckey was born March 13, 1800, and died in Rollo, 
Mo., Jan. 10th, 1876. He was converted at nine years of age, and 
licensed to exhort in 1819. As an exhorter and local preacher he 
served the Church one year, and traveled under the presiding elder one 
year. He was admitted on trial by the New York Conference in 1821, 
ordained deacon in 1823, and elder in 1825. 



SKETCHES OF TIIE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



55 



Among his other appointments he was Chaplain to Sing Sing prison 
nineteen years, and superannuated from 1867 to the close of his life. 

He wrote two books, one, “Prison Sketches,” the other, “Life in Sing 
Sing Prison.” 

For the mission work at the Five Points he was equally well qualified; 
indeed, the Chaplaincy at Sing Sing, had prepared the way for him at the 
mission, where he met many of the friends of his former parishioners. 

In the Spring of 1868 he left Sing Sing and removed to Rollo, Mo. In 
his western home, although he had reached “three score and ten,” he was 
an untiring laborer. 

The condition of his health becoming such as to make it desirable for 
him to be near a physician, he removed to town. 

From this time until his death, he maintained his usual cheerfulness, 
when, a few days after, he sank into a deep sleep, and at one o’clock 
breathed his last without pain or returning consciousness. 



REV. DANIEL DE VINNE. 

The Rev. Daniel De Vinne was born in Londonderry, February 1, 
1793. When about eight months old, in company with his father and 
family, he came to America. At ten years of age, he was sent for the first 
time to school. Here, on account of his supposed attachment to Romanism, 
he underwent a real persecution. Six years afterward, he suffered similar 
persecution from another quarter, on his becoming a Methodist. 

In regard to his religious training, his mother was his only instructor ; 
for in the neighborhood there was neither church, school, minister nor 
preaching, and only one Bible, which his mother sometimes borrowed. 
And yet the Lord visited him early. When eleven years old, his mother 
died, and he was transferred to the guardianship of his grandparents in 
Albany. By them he was required to attend the Roman Catholic Church. 
At fifteen, however, he thought he would judge for himself; and, accord- 
ingly, he set out on a tour of visitation to all the churches. He visited all 



56 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



of them in Albany except the Methodists, who were then thought to be so 
far out of the way, that it was not worth while. 

By a very strange Providence, it so happened that on the last evening 
of 1809, he fell in company with five young men, with whom he perambu- 
lated the streets of Albany till about eleven o’clock, when they came near 
the little church in North Pearl Street, where the Methodists were holding 
a watch night. It was here and then that Mr. De Yinne became awakened, 
and soon after (a little before or after midnight of January 2, 1810) entered 
into covenant relation with Clod, and on the seventh, the Sabbath of the 
same week, joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Albany. 

We next find Mr. De Yinne in Brooklyn, which, at this time, (1815) 
was a small village. Here he engaged in teaching, until October, 1818, 
when he sold ont his school establishment and went by sea to New Orleans. 
We next find him in charge of a school near Woodville, Mississippi. Here, 
too, he opened a Sunday-school to teach the slaves to read the Scriptures. 
Though still a private member, he went on the Natchez Circuit, and 
preached his first sermon in Feliciana, Louisiana. Three months afterward, 
he was regularly licensed to preach and recommended to travel. 

At the session of the Mississippi Conference for the year 1819, he was, 
on being received, sent, at his own request, to the French, of Lower 
Louisiana. 

In 1821, he was ordained to the deaconate and subsequently elder. 

In 1824 he was a delegate to the General Conference, held in Eutaw 
Church, Baltimore. It was at this conference, after traveling various 
circuits in the South, that he applied to Bishop George for a transfer to the 
North. He was subsequently transferred to the New York Conference by 
Bishop Roberts. Without enumerating all the circuits and stations Mr. De 
Yinne has traveled and filled, suffice it to say, that they have been numerous, 
varied and extensive, and the miles he has traveled, and the sermons he 
has preached, are counted by the thousands. 

Mr. De Vinne has attained to a ripe old age, and though compassed 
about by bodily infirmities, is cheerful, and bring in blest anticipation of the 
rest that remains to the people of God. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



57 



KEY. JAMES FLOY, D.D. 

Rev. James Floy, D.D., was born in the city of New York, August 20, 
1806. He received his academical and collegiate education at Columbia 
College, New York. His conversion to God occurred February 13, 1831, 
during a revival in the Allen Street Church. He united with the Bowery 
Village (now Seventh Street) Methodist Episcopal Church, and for some 
time acted as teacher and superintendent of a Sunday-school for colored 
persons under the care of that church. He was licensed' to preach in Feb- 
ruary, 1833, two years after his conversion, and for the next two years he 
filled the office of a local preacher. 

He was received into the Traveling Ministry as a probationer at the 
session of the New York Conference, in the Spring of 1835. 

As a preacher, Dr. Floy was clear, direct and earnest ; eminently 
evangelical in doctrine; in exhortation, pungent and effective; elevated in 
matter, and rigidly correct in style and manner. 

His death was sudden, and quite unexpected by himself or friends. 
On the evening of October 14, 1863, in his study, with only a son in his 
company, he was seized with apoplexy, and expired almost instantly. 



REV. JOHN CRANYILLE TACIvABERRY. 

Rev. John Cranville Tackaberry was a native of Ireland, born Septem- 
ber 8, 1799. He emigrated to America in 1817. A few weeks after his 
arrival in this country, while residing in Quebec, he experienced religion. 
He soon after united with the M. E. Church. In 1819 he received license 
as an exhorter, and in 1821, was licensed as a local preacher. For a year 
or two subsequent, under the presiding elder, he was employed to labor 
within the limits of the Canada Conference. In 1826 he was ordained a 
local deacon. The following year he was admitted on trial in the Pitts- 
burgh Conference. At its next session he was ordained elder. In 1829 he 
was transferred to the New York Conference, and stationed at Troy, and 



( 8 ) 



58 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



successively labored as a faithful minister of Christ at Catskill, Brooklyn, 
Stratford and New York. 

In 1837 he was appointed to Montgomery Circuit. The two succeed- 
ing years he was appointed to the Harlem Mission. His next and last 
appointment as an effective preacher was at Stamford. Here, his health 
failing, he was compelled to take a superannuated relation, which he held 
till 1844; from which time, to the close of his life, he maintained a super- 
numerary connection with the New York Conference. 

He ended his sufferings in this city, May 9, 1852. A short time 
previous to his death, he requested an intimate friend to read from the 
Bible, naming the chapter and remarking, “In the Word of God is my 
trust; its promises are my support.” 



KEY. SYLVESTER HALE CLARK. 

Rev. Sylvester Hale Clark, son of Jonathan and Mary Hale Clark, was 
born in South Wilbraham, Mass., December 31, 1810. He was born again 
in July, 1827, in Tolland, Conn., and joined the M. E. Church. He 
received his first license to preach in 1832, from the Rev. P. P. Sandford, 
Presiding Elder, at West Point, where he was teaching a school. 

In 1834, by request of Rev. Marvin Richardson, Presiding Elder, he 
traveled the Montgomery Circuit with the Rev. Hiram Wing. At his 
request he organized the first class at Middletown, where they preached in a 
school-house. 

In 1835, he was received into the New York Conference on probation 
and stationed at New Britain, Conn., which was then first made a station. 

In 1837, he was ordained deacon by Bishop Waugh, in Brooklyn, 
N. Y., and stationed at Farmington, Conn. 

In 1839, he was ordained elder by Bishop Waugh at Willett Street 
M. E. Church, New York, and stationed on the Harlem Mission with the Rev. 
John C. Tackaberry, he (the latter) residing uear the Rose Hill or Twenty- 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



59 



seventh Street Church, and the former (Clark) next door to the church in 
Harlem, 125th Street. 

The mission also included the Forty-third Street and Yorkville or 
Eighty-sixth Street Churches, at which they alternated, preaching three 
times each Sabbath. Brother Tackaberry took charge of the pastoral work 
and social meetings at the lower end of the mission, and brother Clark at 
the upper end. 

In 1852, suffering from bronchial difficulty and general prostration, 
by the advice of Bishop Janes, brother Clark took a superannuation, hoping 
that entire rest might restore his health; but this hope was not realized, and 
he has seldom been able to preach since. 

In conclusion, brother Clark, in writing of himself and his life-long 
companion, says: “During all these years, with their joys and their sorrows, 
our Heavenly Father has kindly led us, and now, 1880, in the good old 
town of Plymouth, Mass., amid the memories, relics and descendants of the 
Pilgrims, near the rock on which they landed — 

‘ We are waiting by the river, 

Only waiting for the boatman, 

We are watching on the shore, 

Till he come to bear us o’er.’” 



REV. ELBERT OSBORN. 

The Rev. Elbert Osborn was born April 7, 1800, in that part of the 
town of Fairfield, called Greenfield, in Connecticut. 

It is his opinion that before he was nine years old, the Lord converted 
his soul. He then joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has since 
been connected with it, a period of seventy years. 

When about twenty-two years old, he was licensed as a local preacher 
‘by the Rev. Samuel Merwin. About a year later, he entered the itineracy, 
and joined the New York Conference, of which he has continued a member 
for fifty-seven years. 



GO 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



During forty-three years he has been on the list of effective ministers, 
and for the remainder, on the superannuated list. 

His appointed fields of labor have included portions of Litchfield and 
Hartford Comities, in Connecticut, a part of Hampden County, in Massa- 
chusetts, and places in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia, Rensselaer, 
Albany, Schoharie, Delaware, Greene, Ulster, Queens and Suffolk Counties, 
in the State of New York. 

In regard to the number of sermons he has preached, brother Osborn 
writes: “As near as I can now ascertain, I have, in my weak way, preached 
about ten thousand and three hundred times in the course of my ministry. 
The state of my health forbids my preaching now, yet I would ‘cry in 
death, behold the Lamb. 1 11 

He died at Ocean Grove, N. J., on Saturday evening, February 15, 
1881, aged nearly eighty-one years. His end was peace. 



REV. SAMUEL U. FISHER. 

Rev. Samuel U. Fisher was born in White Plains, Westchester County, 
N. Y., November 30, 1795. When about twenty-four years of age, he 
sought, successfully, a saving interest in the Lord Jesus. 

He was received on probation in the New York Conference in 1826, 
was ordained deacon in 1828, and elder in 1830. In 1826 he was stationed 
on Kingsbridge Circuit; 1827-8, Stamford; 1829-30, Matteawan; 1831-2, 
Dutchess; 1833, Amenia, where his health failed, and in 1834 he was 
returned supernumerary. 

From 1835 to 1838, inclusive, he was superannuated. His health 
having improved a little, his relation was changed to supernumerary. In 

1840, he was returned effective, and appointed to New Rochelle Circuit; 

1841, Harlem, where his health again failed. He was returned supernum- 
erary in 1842, and continued so until 1845, when he was superannuated, 
and remained in this relation until May 9, 1850, when he was released from 
his toils and sufferings, and peacefully passed to his reward in heaven. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



61 



As a minister, he was faithful as long as he could attend to the duties 
of his calling, and instrumental in bringing souls to Christ; sound in doc- 
trine, taking the Word of God as the only and sufficient rule of faith and 
practice. 



REV. SAMUEL A. SEAMAN. 

The Rev. Samuel A. Seaman was born in the city of New York, 
August 18, 1818. 

His father’s name was Samuel Seaman, the youngest brother of Rev. 
Richard Seaman, M.D., so long identified with the early history of the 
125th Street M. E. Church. 

He was converted in the Greene Street M. E. Church, in New 
York City. 

In 1841 he was graduated from the New York University, and in the 
Eall went to Westville and Bethany, and in 1842 to Wethersfield. In 
1843 he was associated with his uncle, the Rev. Dr. Seaman, in the Harlem 
M. E. Church. He is at present stationed at Stratford, Conn. 



REV. GEORGE TAYLOR. 

The Rev. George Taylor was born in the village of Honley, near Hud- 
dersfield, Yorkshire, England. 

His parents were pious and earnest Methodists, and did all they could 
to train him to piety of heart and life. 

In very early life he received strong religious impressions in the 
Sunday-school, and under the prayers and teachings of a very devoted 
mother ; he received his first ticket of membership from the hands of the 
Rev. John Bowers. 

At the age of eighteen he was received as a local preacher in the 
Gloysop Circuit, Derbyshire. 



62 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



From there he removed to the Theological school kept by the Rev. 
Thomas Allin, in Alltringham, near Manchester. 

In 1843 he left Alltringham for New York with the intention of 
joining the New York Conference. He spent the first year in Wolcottville, 
Conn., under the eldership of Bartholomew Creagh. 

His first Conference appointment was Harlem, (1844.) 

Suffering from ill health during the year, he was, at its close, removed 
to the mountain region. 

The people treated him with great kindness, the society was peaceable 
and united, and all experienced a pleasant year. 



REY M. E. WILLING. 

The Rev. M. E. Willing was Pastor of the Harlem M. E. Church during 
the Conference year 1845. 

Brother Willing has since left the Methodist Episcopal Church. 



REY. SAMUEL D. FERGUSON. 

The Rev. Samuel D. Ferguson was born in the city of New York in 
1798. 

At the age of fourteen, with joy, he responded to the call of his 
Heavenly Father, “My son, give me thy heart.” He then identified himself 
with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was licensed to preach, and 
employed by his presiding elder to aid the Rev. Arnold Scofield. He 
joined the Conference in 1819, and was appointed to Stamford Circuit; in 
1820, he was appointed to Suffolk; and during succeeding years, succes- 
sively, to different circuits, until, in 1829-30, he was stationed in Bedford 
Street, New York City; and in 1831-4, he was Presiding Elder on Platts- 
burgh District; in 1835, he was stationed at North Second Street, Troy. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



63 



In consequence of poor health he did not return to Troy the second 
year, but accepted the appointment of General Agent of the Troy Confer- 
ence Academy. From 1838 to 1844 he filled various appointments, among 
them, that of Presiding Elder of the Delaware District. In the Spring or 
Summer of 1844, his health having failed, he accepted the appointment 
of Superintendent of the Leake and Watts’ Orphan House. Here he 
remained for four years. (It was during the years 1846 and 1847, that 
brother Ferguson officiated also as Pastor of the Harlem M. E. Church.) 

As a man, brother Ferguson was emphatically strong; as a Christian, 
he was meek, humble and unostentatious. He was an able minister of the 
New Testament. All the religious enterprises of our Church shared in his 
liberality, and they were not forgotten in his last will and testament. 

On the 30th of December, 1855, at the residence of his sister, in the 
city of New York, on Sabbath morning, he went to the “land of pure 
delight,” where everlasting Spring abides, where he can die no more, but 
will be like the angels of God, ever young, ever strong and immortal. 

He repeated, as expressive of the feelings of his own heart, the words 
of the Psalmist: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want * * * yea, 

though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no 
evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” 



KEY. JAMES M. FREEMAN, D.D. 

The Rev. James M. Freeman was born in the city of New York, Janu- 
ary 29, 1827. 

He was converted in the Sabbath-school of the Allen Street Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and united with that church when he was not quite 
eleven years old. 

He was educated for a teacher in the public schools of the city, under 
the old Normal school system, and taught seven years in several different 
schools. 



64 SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



He was licensed as a local preacher in 1846. While teaching in 
Harlem, in 1847, he was appointed, December 22d, preacher in charge of 
the Harlem M. E. Church, by the Presiding Elder, the Rev. Peter P. Sand- 
ford, D.D., for the remainder of the Conference year (1847-8.) In Janu- 
ary (1848) a protracted meeting was begun and continued for two months. 
The congregations were frequently so large as to crowd the audience room 
of the church. The interest became very great and extended to the other 
churches of the place. A dancing school was completely broken up as 
most of the dancers attended the meetings, and many of them were con- 
verted. Nearly one hundred souls in all were converted, some of whom 
joined the other churches. The membership was more than doubled during 
the year. In 1847, fifty-nine were reported in the minutes. In 1848, one 
hundred and thirty-two. In 1850, Dr. Freeman joined the New Jersey 
Conference, and was among the members of that; conference, who, in 1857, 
were set off to the Newark Conference. 

The following have been his appointments: Quarry Street, Newark; 
Camp town ; Milltown; Prospect Street, Paterson; Orange; Union Street, 
Newark; Trinity, Staten Island; Haverstraw, New York; Market Street, 
Paterson; Halsey Street, Newark; Hedding, Jersey City; Hackettstown, 
whence he was taken, in 1852, and appointed Assistant Editor of Sunday- 
school and Tract publications. In 1866, Wesleyan University conferred 
upon him the honorary degree of A. M., and in 1875, Mount Union College, 
Ohio, that of D.D. 

Dr. Freeman has written over thirty small books for children, besides 
packages of tracts. Also, “Hand Book of Bible Manners and Customs,” 
“Short History of English Bible,” and other smaller works for Sunday- 
school teachers and Bible students. 



KEY. RUFUS C. PUTNEY. 

The Rev. Rufus C. Putney was born in Union, Tolland County, Conn., 
August 17, 1820. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



65 



He received from his parents a careful and prayerful, moral and 
religious training. 

At the age of sixteen he came to New York State, and entered, and 
subsequently graduated from the White Plains Academy. 

He then engaged in teaching until he entered the itineracy. 

Pie was converted December 29th, 1839, in Greenburgh, Westchester 
County, under the ministry of the Rev. John A. Selleck and by the evangel- 
istic labors of Samuel Halsted, and immediately joined the M. E. Church on 
probation. 

In 1840 he was granted a local preacher’s license. 

In May, 1844, he joined the New York Conference, and during the 
years 1848-9, served the Harlem (125th Street) Church. 

In speaking of his pastorate in Harlem, the Rev. Mr. Putney writes: 
“ While my pastorate embraced no little sacrifice and privation, as well as 
arduous labor, it also affords me much pleasure, and even at this distant 
day, furnishes me with precious memories and a sweet anticipation of greet- 
ings in the heavenly land. 

“And I rejoice that the little society, for the interests of which it was 
mine to care, over thirty years ago, has grown to such dimensions, as to 
constitute it a peer among the city churches of the metropolis.” 

The Rev. Mr. Putney died in the city of New York on the eve of 
December 16, 1881. 



REY. TIIOMAS BAINBRIDGE. 

Rev. Thomas Bainb ridge was born in Appleby, England, October 26, 
1792. His conversion took place in his twenty-fourth year. About three 
years after this he became a local preacher in the Wesleyan connection. 



( 9 ) 



66 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



Shortly after entering the ranks of the local ministry in England, he 
came to America, 

He joined the New York Conference in 1833, having been previously 
employed under the Presiding Elder as the colleague of the Rev. Dr. 
Levings, in New Haven, Conn. He became a superannuate in 1853. 

He was a great sufferer for the six months previous to his death, but 
was calm and resigned. 

He was taken suddenly worse on Saturday, March 8, 1862, and from 
that time failed rapidly, being scarcely able to articulate, but made out to 
say to his kind and pious physician, “I know in whom I have believed.” 

On the following Sabbath the Rev. S. C. Perry called to see him, and to 
him he said: “I trust in Christ crucified; He is my only hope.” On 
Monday morning, at half-past two o’clock, March 10, 1862, he sweetly fell 
asleep in Jesus. 



REV. A. S. LAIvIN. 

The Rev. A. S. Lakin was Pastor of the Harlem M. E. Church during 
the years 1852-3. 

He is now Presiding Elder of the Marion District of the Central Ala- 
bama Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 



REV. JOHN B. COCAGNE. 

The Rev. John B. Cocagne was born October 1st, 1821, in a village 
called Roziere, in the department of the High Saone. This village is in 
that part of France called Franche-Comte, and within the Diocese of Bes- 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



67 ' 



ancon. He was carefully and rigidly educated in the faith and practices of 
the Roman Catholic Church. 

In 1831, his father concluded to see the wilds of America, in order to 
better his circumstances and worldly prospects. After taking leave of 
friends, and a pleasant passage and journey, they arrived in New York in 
April, and in May following reached Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, N. Y. 

It was after having been brought in contact with Protestants, and 
especially while attending Methodist prayer meetings, that he became con- 
vinced of the need of a Saviour, and finally, after severe struggles with sin, 
and self, and Satan, emerged into the glorious liberty of the Gospel of 
Christ. 

It was not long afterwards that he felt he was called to the ministry, 
and accordingly, after spending several years at school, he was received on 
trial in the Black River Conference in June, 1846, and appointed to the 
East Creek Circuit. The following year he was appointed to Lee Circuit. 
He was ordained deacon by the Rev. Bishop Janes, July 9, 1848. 

The next two years were spent on Three Mill Bay Circuit, at the close 
of which he was ordained elder by Rev. Bishop Waugh, June 30, 1850, and 
appointed to Henvelton and De Peyster charge. In July, 1851, he was 
transferred to the New York Conference and stationed at the French Mis- 
sion, in New York City, which position he filled during 1852 and 1853 also. 

In 1854 he was stationed at Harlem, and in 1855 transferred to the 
Black River Conference and assigned to the Chateaugay Mission. In 

January following he was sent to the Detroit French Mission, and in Sep- 
tember, 1856, he was transferred from the Michigan Conference to the 
Black River, which he regarded as his own Conference. 

Partly to benefit his health, and in part for social and religious 
purposes, he thought to visit his native land in the interval that must elapse 
before the next session of the Black River Conference. 

November 1, 1856, he left New York for Havre, in the steamer 
Lyonnaise, and on the following Sabbath night, at one o’clock, the vessel 
was wrecked, and he perished in the mighty deep. 



68 SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



REV. PELATIAI1 WARD. 

Rev. Pelatiah Ward was born in Dover, Dutchess County, New York. 
While studying law at Poughkeepsie, he attended the Cannon Street M. E. 
Church, and there, under the pungent and faithful appeals of Rev. J. B. 
Merwin, ho was awakened to see himself a lost sinner. 

While pondering the question as to the path he should pursue, he went 
to hear Professor Mahan preach from the text: “ How can ye believe who 
receive honor one of another?” 

That sermon decided his course. At its close he rose, went forward to 
the front of the pulpit, and falling down on his face, asked the prayers of 
the Church in his behalf. Soon after he found peace in Christ, and turned 
his attention to the Christian ministry. 

In 1846 he joined the New York Conference, and served, in succes- 
sion, the following appointments: Dutchess, Lee, Salisbury, New Concord, 
Chatham, Harlem, Yonkers, Yorkville. 

In the Spring of 1861, he was appointed to Ellenville, and entered 
upon his work with promise of great success and usefulness. The people 
were just learning to love him as a pastor, when, suddenly, under the 
impulses of those strange and unnatural times, he appeared before them in 
another and a new relation. The government wanted soldiers, and under 
the influence of his stirring and almost resistless appeals, some one hundred 
and thirty men rallied to the standard within the short period of ten days. 
He thought to go with those who thus gathered about him as a chaplain 
of the regiment in which they enlisted, and had the position offered for his 
acceptance. But they demanded him as their captain. He felt himself in 
honor bound to comply, and gave himself at once to the faithful discharge 
of the onerous duties of his new calling. He went with them to the seat of 
war. He never even left them on a furlough to visit his much-beloved 
family. He marched with them, and shared their hardships ; and when 
called to face the enemy, he fought at their head until the deadly missile laid 
him low, and he could do no more. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



69 



In the last letter he ever wrote to those he loved most, he uttered a 
sentiment which indicates a patriotism unsurpassed in the history of the 
world : 

“If I fall, my wife will have the satisfaction of knowing she has con- 
tributed a husband, and my children a father, for the salvation of the 
country.” 



REY. J. C. WASHBURN. 



Rev J. C. Washburn was Pastor of the Harlem M. E. Church during 
the years 1 857-8. 

He sustains at present a supernumerary relation in the New York 
Conference, and resides at Pleasantville, N. Y. 



REY. BENJAMIN M. ADAMS. 



The Rev. Benjamin M. Adams was born in Stamford, Conn., April 11, 
18*24. His father, Mr. Sands Adams, was a local preacher for forty years. 
The Rev. Mr. Adams was converted in the Winter of 1840-1. He was 
examined and licensed to preach in 1847, by the Rev. P. P. Sandford, D.D., 
and received into the New York Conference in 1848, the year it was 
divided, and remained, after the division, in the New York Conference. 

He was stationed in Harlem (125th Street) during 1859-60. 

At this writing he is a member of the New York East Conference, and 
stationed at Meriden, Conn. 



70 SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



REV. J. B. WAKELEY, D.D. 

Rev. J. B. Wakeley was a native of Danbury, Conn., born in 1809. 
He was converted at Sugar Loaf, Orange County, N. Y., and became a 
Church member when about sixteen years old. 

In the Spring of 1833, at the age of twenty-four, Joseph B. Wakeley 
was admitted to the New York Conference on trial, and two years later to 
full connection, and for forty-two years, until released by death, continued 
in the work of the ministry. 

After serving various charges in the New York, New Jersey and New 
York East Conferences, and again in the New York Conference, and as 
Presiding Elder of the Poughkeepsie and Newburgh Districts, in 1875, he 
was appointed to Cold Spring, at which place, at the time of his death, 
(which occurred at the house of a friend in the city of New York, April 27, 
1875) he had officiated but one Sabbath. 

As an ecclesiastical antiquarian, Dr. Wakeley had no equal in the 
Church, and his writings were mainly devoted to historical and biographical 
memoirs of early Methodism. Brother Wakeley’s last illness was brief, but 
very severe: his end peaceful and triumphant. 



REV. JOHN E. COOKMAN, D.D. 

Rev. John E. Cookman, D.D., was born in Carlisle, Pa. His very early 
childhood was spent in Baltimore and Washington. While still a young 
boy, his mother moved to Philadelphia, and here he was educated, gradua- 
ting with honor, and receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and subse- 
quently the degree of Master of Arts. 

In 1876 he received the honorary degree of D.D. from the Illinois 
Wesleyan University. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 71 



After his graduation, being in delicate health, through hard study, he 
spent four years in active business life. 

In Philadelphia, while yet a schoolboy, he experienced religion and 
joined the Trinity M. E. Church, of which he was a member some years, and 
from which he received his license to exhort and to preach. 

After this he went to Europe, and on his return, went to the Biblical 
Institute of Concord, N. H., and the school of Theology of the Boston 
University. On leaving the Biblical Institute, he took work under the 
Presiding Elder, and was stationed for eight months at the St. James’ 
Church, New Brunswick, N. J. Immediately after this, he joined the New 
York Conference, his first appointment being Lenox, Mass. 

His next charge was 125th Street, Harlem. This pastorate was among 
the most pleasant of all his ministry and blessed with the reviving influences 
of the Holy Spirit. 

Speaking of the members of the Church, Dr. Cookman writes: “Never 
have I served a more appreciative or kinder people than I found in Harlem. 
Friendships were formed which were and are still the joy of earth, and 
shall be perpetuated in Heaven.” 

After two pleasant years in Harlem, he was appointed to the Washing- 
ton Street Church, Poughkeepsie. 

His next charge was Bedford Street Church, New York City, and then 
Trinity Church, 34th Street, New York City. He was then transferred by 
Bishop Peck to the New Eng^nd Conference, and stationed at Tremont 
Street, Boston. 

At the end of three years he was transferred to the New York East 
Conference, and stationed at the Sixty-first Street M. E, Church. 

Having served this Church the allotted period, he was, at the Confer- 
ence session of 1880, assigned the Pastorate of First Place Church, Brook- 
lyn, New York. 



72 SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



REV. J. LE GRANGE McKOWN, D.D. 

Rev. J. Le Grange McKown was born in Guilderland, Albany 
County, New York, August 13, 1824, and died at Roseville, N, J., May 2, 
1879, aged fifty-four. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and was reared in 
the Reformed Church, but at the age of fourteen united with the M. E. 
Church. When seventeen he became a student in the Troy Conference 
Academy at West Poultney, Vt. Subsequently he entered Middletown 
University, where he graduated in due course. In 1849 he united with the 
Oneida Conference. His first appointment was in the suburbs of Utica,, 
N. Y. Here his health failed, and his friends advised rest and retirement 
from active work. But his ambition and love for souls urged him on, and 
he was appointed to Vernon Centre. Soon ill health compelled him to retire 
from the regular pastoral work, but not from active duty. For eight years 
he gave his energies to the education of youth. During this time he was 
Professor in Newark Wesleyan Seminary, President of Richmondville Union 
Seminary, of Cooperstown Seminary, and of Pittsburgh High School. His 
health improving, he was transferred to Ohio, and stationed at Union 
Chapel, Cincinnati. From Cincinnati he was transferred to New York 
Conference, and stationed at Trinity Church, New York City. He was 
afterwards stationed successively in Washington Street, Poughkeepsie; St. 
James’ Church, Kingston; and Harlem, (125th Street) New York City. 

By request of Bishop Janes he was transferred to Iowa, and stationed 
in the city of Dubuque. Here, his health failing, he was obliged to seek a 
less rigorous clime. By the call of his old friends in Cincinnati, he was 
returned to the Union Church in that city. His subsequent appointments 
were: President of Albion College, Michigan; Pastor of Third Street 
Church, Rockford, Illinois; Wabash Avenue and Ada Street Churches, 
Chicago. Here the health of his wife failed, and, partly on that account, 
he was transferred to Newark Conference, and stationed at Hedding 
Church, Jersey City. The last year of his active ministry was spent in 
Roseville, near Newark. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 73 



It had been a cherished wish of Dr. McKown to return to the New 
York Conference and there finish his ministry. Accordingly, he was trans- 
ferred to that Conference in April last, and appointed to Milton-on-the- 
Hudson. He was, however, too ill to attend the session of Conference ; too 
ill to go to his appointment. His work was done. He lingered in the 
parsonage of his last charge until, early in the morning of May 2, he 
passed away. When prayer was offered for his recovery, he responded: U I 
am not going to die, I shall live. I have been a long time in the land of 
tfie dying, and I am now going to the land of the living. I shall not die. 
‘Whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.” 1 



REV. WILLIAM II. FERRIS, D.D. 

Rev. William H. Ferris, D.D., is a native of Westchester County, New 
York. 

His paternal ancestry were English Quakers, and were among the 
earliest settlers of Westchester County. 

His mother was descended from the French Huguenots who fled from 
persecution in France, and settled in and about New Rochelle, N. Y. 

When thirteen years of age, he experienced religion, and joined the 
M. E. Church, of which his parents were members. 

In 1842 he was licensed to preach, and in 1843 he joined the New 
York Conference, of which he has remained a member to the present time. 
He has been a member of three successive General Conferences, (also of the 
General Conference of 1880) and has served two full terms in the Presiding 
Eldership, first in the Newburg District, afterward on the New York 
District. 

Six of the M. E. Churches in New York City, and others along the 
Hudson River were organized by him. 

He was also the principal originator of the present “City Church 



(10) 



74 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



Extension and Missionary Society” of New York City. Union College 
bestowed upon him the honorary degree of D.D. 

Dr. Ferris was Pastor of the Harlem M. E. Church from the latter part 
of the year 1867, to the session of the New York Conference in the Spring 
of 1868. 

He is at present the Pastor of the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church, 
New York City. 



KEY. GEORGE H. COREY, D.D. 

The Rev. George H. Corey was born at Athens, New York, May 18, 
1839. 

He was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church at 
Hudson, N. Y., in April, 1856. 

He very soon received from the Church an exhorter’s and a local 
preacher’s license, and in April, 1863, he joined the New York Conference. 

At the session of the Conference in 1868, he was sent to Harlem, and it 
was during his pastorate there, that the subject of the erection of a new 
church was revived. 

Having succeeded in removing prejudice, overcoming opposition, and 
surmounting obstacles, with the blessing of God and the co-operation of the 
officiary and members of the church, he was instrumental in the purchase of 
a site, and the erection of a church, which is at once a glory to Methodism, 
an ornament to the city, and has moulded the neighborhood in which it is 
located, besides inciting other denominations to efforts in church enterprise 
and church architecture. It is not affirming too much, when it is said that 
had it not been for the energy, the persistence and indomitable will of Mr. 
Corey, the beautiful church edifice, chapel and parsonage of St. James’ 
would not now exist. 

In 1881, Syracuse University conferred upon Mr. Corey the honorary 
degree of D.D. 




Rev. HENRY B. RIDGAWAY, D.D. 



WlMl/// 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 75 



REV. HENRY B. RIDGAWAY, D.D. 

Henry B. Ridgaway was born in Talbot County, Md., September 7, 
1830, and removed to Baltimore City in 1839, where his youth was spent. 

He went through the course of four years’ instruction at the Baltimore 
High School, and from thence, entered the Junior class of Dickinson 
College, Carlisle, Pa. He was graduated from this institution in 1849. 

After teaching one year, he was requested to supply a vacancy on 
Summerfield Circuit, adjacent to Baltimore, until the ensuing session of the 
Baltimore Conference, and, at this session, March, 1851, he was received as 
a probationer in the Conference, occupying several of the principal circuits 
and stations until the Spring of 1860, when he was transferred to the Maine 
Conference, and appointed to the charge of Chestnut Street Church, 
Portland, Me. 

In 1862 he was transferred to the New York Conference and appointed 
to St. Paul’s Church in New York. 

In 1864 he was assigned to the Washington Square station in the 
same city. 

In 1867 he was appointed to the church in the village of Sing Sing, 
and, at the end of one year, he was again returned to the St. Paul’s charge 
in the city, where he spent a second term. 

During the Summer of 1870, in company with his wife and Miss Janes, 
daughter of Bishop Janes, he made a tour in Europe, and was an eye 
witness of some of the most stirring scenes of the Franco-German war. In 
the Spring of 1871, he was put in charge of the new St. James’ Church, 
(then approaching completion) at Harlem, New York. 

Under his administration, the church edifice was dedicated May 14, 
1871, and the society and congregation steadily increased. In the Winter 
of 1873, he carried out a long-cherished desire, and, as previously agreed 
upon with the official Board of his Church, left, accompanied by his wife 
and mother-in-law, Mrs Caldwell, to make a tour of Southern Europe, 
Egypt and the Holy Land. 



76 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



While at St. James’, Mr. Ridgaway wrote the biography of the Rev. 
Alfred Cookman, which was published by Harper & Bros., and contributed 
regularly to the Methodist periodicals. On his return from abroad, in the 
Autumn of 1875, he assumed the charge of St. James’ Church, Kingston, 
N. Y., to which he had been appointed during his absence. Here he re- 
mained two years, during which period he served as a Delegate to the Gen- 
eral Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Baltimore, and also 
embodied the results of his observations in the Holy Land in a large 
illustrated volume, called the “Lord’s Land,” published by Nelson & Philips, 
of the Methodist Book Concern, (1876.) 

During the present year, (1881) there has appeared from his pen the 
Life of Edmund Storer Janes, D.D., LL.D., late Bishop of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, published by Philips & Hunt, 805 Broadway, N. Y. 

In the Autumn of 1876, he was transferred to the Cincinnati Conference 
and stationed at St. Paul’s Church, in the city of Cincinnati. 

At the expiration of a term of three years in this charge, he was 
removed to the Walnut Hills charge, in that city, where he now lives. 

Mr. Ridgaway has received the honorary degrees of A.M. and D.D. 
from his alma mater, and has several times been approached to enter the 
educational work of the Church, but thus far he has strictly adhered to his 
original calling as a pastor. 

He looks back to his term spent with the St. James’ Church, New 
York, as one of the most satisfactory of his ministry. The society, on 
getting into its new and beautiful edifice, entered at once upon a career of 
the utmost unity, activity and prosperity. 

During the Eall of 1S81, Dr. Ridgaway was nominated by the Trustees 
of the Garrett Biblical Institute, located at Evanston, 111., for the Chair of 
Historical Theology in that institution. The Bishops, at their meeting in 
November, confirmed the nomination, and Dr. Ridgaway will enter upon 
the duties of the professorship in the Autumn of 1882. 







: v'#' 



Rev. Bishop CYRUS D. FOSS, D.D., LL.D. 



SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 77 



REV. BISHOP CYRUS D. FOSS, D.D., LL.D. 

The Rev. Cyrus D. Foss, D.D., LL.D., was born at Kingston, New 
York, on the 17th of January, 1834. 

He prepared for college at Amenia Seminary, Amenia, N. Y., and 
entered Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., in 1850, from which 
institution he was graduated in 1854. During 1854-5, he was teacher of 
Mathematics in Amenia Seminary, and the subsequent year, (1856) 
principal. 

In 1857 he joined the New York Conference and was stationed at 
Chester, N. Y. 

In 1859 he was transferred to the New York East Conference, and 
stationed at Fleet Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. ; 1861-2, Hanson Place, Brook- 
lyn; 1863-4, South Fifth Street, Brooklyn. 

In 1865 he was transferred to the New York Conference, and stationed 
at St. Paul’s Church, New York City; 1868-70, Trinity Church, New York 
City; 1871-3, St. Paul’s Church, New York City. 

During the year 1867, he spent four months in travel in Europe. 

In 1 872 he was elected a Delegate to the General Conference held in 
Brooklyn, N. Y. 

In 1874 he was appointed to the Pastorate of St. James’ Church, corner 
of 126th Street and Madison Avenue, New York City. 

In the midst of his pastorate here, (1875) he was elected President of 
Wesleyan University, in which capacity he served until his election to the 
Bishopric, which took place at the session of the General Conference, held 
at Cincinnati, May, 1880. 



REV. WESLEY R. DAVIS, M.A. 

The Rev. Wesley R. Davis was born January 14, 1847, in the county 
of Carroll, Maryland. 



78 SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



His father’s name was Francis; his mother’s Cecelia. 

His parents died before he was five years old. 

The Rev. Charles A. Reid was appointed his guardian, and was in 
every respect a father to the orphan child. He prepared for the ministry 
under Professor Henry M. Harman, (now of Dickinson College.) 

His University course was broken up by a prolonged affliction of his 
eyes, which prevented continuous study. Hence the private tutorship of 
the Rev. Dr. Harman. 

He was licensed to preach in May, 1865; entered the Baltimore Con- 
ference in March, 1866, and was appointed to Summerfield Circuit. In 
1867 he was appointed to Baltimore Circuit. In 1868-9 he was stationed 
at Catorisville, a beautiful village of Baltimore County. In 1870 he was 
appointed to the Strawbridge charge, Baltimore City. In 1871-2 he served 
the St. John’s Independent Methodist Church, Baltimore. In 1873 he was 
called to the Simpson Church, Brooklyn, where his ministry was manifestly 
blessed. He remained pastor of this church for three years. In April 
1876, he took charge of St. James’ M. E. Church, New York City. During 
his ministry here, the congregation increased in size and was uniformly 
large, and each successive Winter protracted religious services were held, 
at which many professed to experience religion, and were taken into the 
Church on probation and afterwards into full membership. 

In April, 1879, he was called to the Madison Avenue Church of the 
Disciples, to succeed the Rev. Dr. Geo. H. Hepworth, where he still is. 

Since the above was written, and within a few days past, (Dec. 20, 
1881,) Mr. Davis has accepted a call to become the pastor of the Madison 
Avenue Reformed Church, Albany, N. Y., whose formative period extends 
from 1609, when Fort Orange was located, until 1642, when the first reg- 
ular pastor was settled. His immediate predecessor was Rev. Dwight K. 
Bartlett, D.D., who died in the City of New York, Jan. 11, 1881. 




Rev. WESLEY R. DAVIS, M.A. 




SKETCHES OF THE PASTORS BOTH LIVING AND DEAD. 



79 



REV. JAMES M. KING, D.D. 

James Marcus King was born in Girard, Erie County, Penn., March 
18, 1839. 

He was converted at the age of nineteen. 

He prepared for college at Newbury Seminary, Vt., and Fort Plain 
Seminary and Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, N. Y. He graduated from 
Wesleyan University in 1862, taking the degrees of A.B. and A.M. 
in course. 

In 1876 his alma mater conferred upon him the honorary degree of 
Doctor of Divinity. 

After leaving college, he taught for six years, holding the Vice-Princi- 
pal ship of the Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, and the Professorship of 
Natural Sciences. 

In 1865 he was licensed to preach, and for three years, in connection 
with his teaching, also preached regularly upon a circuit of six appoint- 
ments, for two years of the time being preacher in charge. 

In 1868 he entered the regular work of the ministry as a member of 
the Troy Conference, being stationed successively at North Second Street in 
the city of Troy, and Saratoga Springs. While in Troy, in 1870, his Church 
sent him to Europe for study and travel. 

In the Spring of 1873 he was transferred to the New York Conference 
and stationed at St. John’s Church in New York City. His second pastorate 
in New York City was the Washington Square Church. 

In the Spring of 1879 he was stationed at St. James’ M. E. Church, 
Harlem, New York City, of which church he is now pastor. 

In 1881 he was appointed a Delegate to the Ecumenical Conference, 
which assembled in London, in the month of September. 



XV. 



Statistics. 




other purposes: 

1830-1. Harlem Mission: Ira Ferris. No members reported. 



(INFERENCE Statistics, showing the names of those who have 
been successively appointed Pastors of St. James’, the number 
of members, &c., and the amounts raised for benevolent and 



1831-2. Harlem Mission: Richard Seaman. Members, 66 whites, 2 colored. 

1832. Harlem Mission : Richard Seaman. Members, 73 whites, 5 colored. 

1833. Harlem Mission: Richard Seaman, Supernumerary; S. Heuston, As- 
sistant Preacher. Members, 73 whites, no colored. 

1834. Harlem Mission : Richard Seaman, Supernumerary. Members, 75 

whites, 2 colored. 

1835. Harlem Mission: J. Luckey; one to be supplied. Members, 94 
whites, 7 colored. First collection for superannuated preachers, 
$10.23; no reports of other collections. 

New York Conference, 1836, Harlem Mission: J. Luckey, D. De Vinne; 
109 white members. Collection for superannuated preachers, $8.25. 

New York Conference, 1836-7, Harlem Mission: Daniel De Vinne; James 
Floy, Assistant Preacher. No reports of collections or members. 

New York Conference, 1838, Harlem Mission: John Tackaberry, James 
Floy. Members, 148 whites, 14 colored. Collection for superan- 
nuated preachers, $5.41. 



STA TISTICS. 



81 



New York Conference, 1839, Harlem Mission: John C. Tackaberry, S. H. 
Clark. Members, 221 whites, 9 colored. Collection for superannuated 
preachers, $21.55. 

New York Conference, 1840, Harlem Mission: Elbert Osborn, Richard 
Seaman, Sup. Members, 228 whites, 10 colored. Collection for super- 
annuated preachers, $8.34. 

New York Conference 1841 : From the minutes of the Conference for this 
year, it appears that Harlem and Yorkville became a station, with the 
Twenty-seventh and Forty-first Street Churches under the Pastorate of 
Rev. Bezaleel Howe, Harlem with S. U. Fisher, and Manhattan Mission 
with Richard Seaman. Members, 226 whites, 1 colored. No reports 
of collections. 

New York Conference, 1842, Harlem and Yorkville: Richard Seaman. No 
reports of members or collections. In the minutes of the Conference 
of this year, the Harlem German Mission is reported as having 71 mem- 
bers, and Manhattan Mission 24 whites and 1 colored. 

New York Conference, 1843, Harlem and Yorkville: Richard Seaman, 
Supernumerary; Samuel A. Seaman. Members, 122 whites, 1 colored. 
No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1844: From the minutes of the Conference of this 

year, it appears that Harlem and Yorkville, formerly included under 
Harlem, were separated, Harlem being assigned to Geo. Taylor, with 
Richard Seaman as Sup., and Yorkville to Samuel A. Seaman. Mem- 
bers, 113. No reports of collections. 

New York Conference, 1845, Harlem: Matthias E. Willing. Members, 
70. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1846, Harlem: Samuel D. Ferguson, Supernumerary. 
Members, 76. No report of collections. 



(ii) 



82 



ST A TISTICS. 



New York Conference, 1847, Harlem: Samuel D. Ferguson, Supernumerary. 
Members, 59. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1848, Harlem: Rufus C. Putney. No report of 
collections. 

New York Conference, 1849, Harlem: Rufus C. Putney. Members, 187; 
28 probationers; 2 local preachers. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1850, Harlem: Thomas Bainbridge. Members, 102; 
19 probationers; 3 local preachers. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1851, Harlem: Thomas Bainbridge. Members, 90; 
4 probationers; 1 local preacher. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1852, Harlem: Arad S. Lakin. Members, 75; 28 
probationers. No reports of collections. 

New York Conference, 1853, Harlem: Arad S. Lakin. Members, 81; 20 
probationers. No reports of collections. 

New York Conference, 1854, Harlem: John B. Cocagne. Members, 95; 
10 probationers; 4 local preachers. No reports of collections. 

New York Conference, 1855, Harlem: Pelatiali Ward. Members, 87; 8 
probationers; 3 local preachers. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1856, Harlem: Pelatiali Ward. Members, 98; 
40 probationers; 4 local preachers. No report of collections. 

New York Conference, 1857, Harlem: Jacob C. Washburn. Members, 82; 
23 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church. Collections, Conference 
claimants $25; Missionary Society $107.23; Tract Society $25; 
American Bible Society $10; Sunday-school Union $5.50. 1 Sunday- 

school; 13 officers and teachers; 170 scholars; 635 volumes in the 
library. 



ST A TISTICS. 



83 



New York Conference, 1858, Harlem: J. C. Washburn. Members, 125; 
120 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value $8,000. 
Collections, Conference claimants $35.43; Missionary Society $200; 
American Bible Society $12.38; Sunday-school Union $12.69. 1 Sab- 

bath-school; 23 officers and teachers; 215 scholars; 636 volumes in 
the library. 

New York Conference, 1859, Harlem: B. M. Adams. Members, 240; 30 
probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value $9,000. 
Collections, Conference claimants $26 03; Missionary Society $155; 
Tract Society $10; American Bible Society $30; Sunday-school Union 
$59.30. 1 Sabbath-school; 25 officers and teachers; 285 scholars: 680 

volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1860, Harlem: B. M. Adams. Members, 210; 18 
probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value $9,000. 
Collections, Conference claimants $103.25; Missionary Society $67.48 ; 
Tract Society $57.21; Sunday-school Union $23.50. 1 school; 31 

officers and teachers; 249 scholars; 600 volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1861, Harlem: Joseph B. Wakeley. Members, 181; 
55 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value $9,000. 
Collections, Conference claimants $75; Missionary Society $82.59; 
Tract Society $34.50; American Bible Society $20; Sunday-school 
Union $5.38. 2 Sabbath-schools; 46 officers and teachers; 223 

scholars; 556 volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1862, Harlem : Joseph B. Wakeley. Members, 100; 
12 probationers ; 1 church, probable value $9,000. Collections, Con- 
ference claimants $18; Missionary Society $13; American Bible 
Society $7.22; Sunday-school Union $10. 1 Sabbath-school; 29 

officers and teachers; 240 scholars; 460 volumes in library. 

New York Conference, 1863, Harlem: John E. Cookman. Members, 127; 
6 probationers; 1 church, probable value $9,000. Collections, Confer- 



84 



ST A TISTICS. 



ence claimants $40; Missionary Society $10; Tract Society $4.30; 
American Bible Society $12 ; Sunday-school Union $3.65. 1 Sabbath- 

school; 30 officers and teachers; 177 scholars; 620 volumes in library. 

New York Conference, 1864, Harlem: John E. Cookman. Members, 180; 
47 probationers; 1 local preacher; 1 church, probable value $9,000. 
Collections, Conference claimants $40.15; Missionary Society $200; 
Tract Society $13.80; American Bible Society $21.07; Sunday-school 
Union $6.50. 1 Sabbath-school; 200 scholars; 700 volumes in the 

library. 

New York Conference, 1865, Harlem: Jacob L. G. McKown. Members, 
200; 17 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value 
$9,000. Collections, Conference claimants $57.25 ; Missionary Society 
$300; Tract Society $17.30; American Bible Society $90; Sunday- 
school Union $15.65. 30 officers and teachers; 200 scholars; 425 

volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1866, Harlem; Jacob L. G. McKown. Members, 
227: 3 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value 
$9,000. Collections, Conference claimants $151.70 ; Missionary Society 
$525; Tract Society $15; American Bible Society $100; Sunday- 
school Union $25. 2 Sabbath-schools; 55 officers and teachers; 300 

scholars; 600 volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1867, Harlem: Jacob L. G. McKown. Members, 
260; 30 probationers; 3 local preachers; 1 church, probable value 
$9,000. Collections, Conference claimants $250; Missionary Society 
$700; Tract Society $9; American Bible Society $80.50; Sunday- 
school Union $25.65; Centenary Fund $660. 1 Sabbath-school; 29 

officers and teachers; 220 scholars; 450 volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1868, Harlem: George H. Corey. Members, 
247; 25 probationers; 3 local preachers; 1 church, probable value 
$25,000. Collections, Conference claimants $100; Missionary Society 



ST A TISTICS. 



85 



$800 ; Tract Society 20 ; American Bible Society $25 ; Sunday- 
school Union $15. 1 Sabbath-school; 29 officers and teachers; 221 

scholars; 540 volumes in the library. 

New York Conference, 1869, Harlem: George H. Corey. Members, 250; 

12 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable value $25,000. 

Collections; Conference claimants $171.70; Missionary Society (church 
collection) $605; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) $220; 
Tract Society $20; Sunday-school Union $13.60; American Bible 
Society $57. 1 Sabbath-school; 27 officers and teachers; 236 scholars; 

volumes in the library — no report. 

New York Conference, 1870, Harlem: George H. Corey. Members, 255; 

13 probationers; 3 local preachers; 1 church, probable value $25,000. 

Collections, Conference claimants — no report; Missionary Society 
(church collection) $400 ; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collec- 
tion) $157 ; Tract Society $15; Sunday-school Union $16. 1 Sabbath- 

school; 30 officers and teachers; 240 scholars; 550 volumes in the 
library. 

New York Conference, 1871, Harlem, St. James’: Henry B. Ridgaway. 
Members, 241; 13 probationers; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable 
value $125,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $10,000. Collections, 
Conference claimants $150; Missionary Society $164; Tract Society 
$6; American Bible Society $50; Sunday-school Union $10. 1 Sab- 

bath-school; 32 officers and teachers; 306 scholars; 500 volumes in the 
library. 

New York Conference, 1872, Harlem, St. James’: Henry B. Ridgaway. 
55 probationers; 250 full members; 2 local preachers ; 1 church, prob- 
able value $125,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $15,000. Collec- 
tions, Conference claimants $175.30; Missionary Society (church 
collection) $454.38; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) 
$395.62; Church Extension $147.48; Tract Society $15; Sunday- 



86 



STATISTICS. 



school Union $30; American Bible Society $30. 1 Sabbath-school; 

35 officers and teachers; number of scholars 357. 

New York Conference, 1873, Harlem, St. James’: Id. B. Ridgaway. 12 
probationers; 319 full members; 3 local preachers; 1 church, prob- 
able value $130,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $15,000. Collec- 
tions, Conference claimants $171 ; Missionary Society (church collec- 
tion) $500 ; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) $600 ; 
Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society $90; Church Extension $100; 
Sunday-school Union $14.20; Freedman’s Aid Society $36.50. 1 

Sabbath-school; 34 officers and teachers ; 336 scholars. 

New York Conference, 1874, Harlem, St. James’: Cyrus D. Foss. 20 pro- 
bationers; 303 full members; 3 local preachers; 1 church, probable 
value $130,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $15,000. Collections, 
Conference claimants $179 ; Missionary Society (church collection) 
$300; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) $610; Church 
Extension $147; Tract Society $21; Sunday-school Union $21.07; 
Education $66.76. 1 Sabbath-school; 37 officers and teachers; 307 

scholars. 

New York Conference, 1875, Harlem, St. James’: Cyrus D. Foss. 22 pro- 
bationers; 329 full members; 3 local preachers; 1 church, probable 
value $130,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $15,000. Collections, 
Conference claimants $208 ; Missionary Society (church collection) 
$524.92; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) $630.31; 
Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society $81.85; Church Extension $64; 
Tract Society $33; Sunday-school Union $34; Freedman’s Aid Society 
$34; Education $108.40. 1 Sabbath-school; 34 officers and teachers; 

290 scholars. 

New York Conference, 1876, Harlem, St. James’: Wesley R. Davis. 24 
probationers; 362 full members; 4 local preachers; 1 church; pro- 
bable value $130,000 ; 1 parsonage, probable value $15,000. Collec- 
tions, Conference claimants $208 ; Missionary Society (church collec- 



ST A TISTICS. 



87 



tion) $527; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) $698. G4; 
Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society $228.32 ; Church Extension 
$37.50; Tract Society $22; Sunday-school Union $25; Freedman’s 
Aid Society $18.50 ; Education $98.37. 1 Sabbath -school; 33 officers 

and teachers; 339 scholars. 

New York Conference, 1877, Harlem, St. James’: Wesley R. Davis. 17 
probationers; 389 full members; 3 local preachers; 1 church, probable 
value $130,000 ; 1 parsonage $15,000. Collections, Conference claim- 
ants $180; Missionary Society (church collection) $300; Missionary 
Society (Sunday-school collection) $1,003 ; Woman’s Foreign Mission- 
ary Society $32.39; Church Extension $50; Tract Society $25; Sun- 
day-school Union $10; Freedman’s Aid Society $10; Education $32. 
1 Sabbath school; 36 officers and teachers; 345 scholars. 

New York Conference, 1878, Harlem, St, James’: Wesley R. Davis. 7 pro- 
bationers; full members 398; local preachers 3; 1 church, probable 
value $130,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $15,000. Collections, 
Conference claimants $225 ; Missionary Society (church collection) 
$222.35; Missionary Society (Sunday-school collection) $777.65; Wo- 
man’s Foreign Missionary Society $47.90; Church Extension $202; 
Tract Society $25; Sunday-school Union $25; Freedman’s Aid Society 
25; Education $35; American Bible Society $12. 1 Sabbath-school; 

34 officers and teachers; 290 scholars. 

New York Conference, 1879, Harlem, St. James’: James M. King. 17 
probationers; 410 members; 6 local preachers; 1 church, probable 
value $125,000; 1 parsonage $12,000; 1 Sabbath-school; 35 officers 
and teachers ; 288 scholars of all ages. Collections, Conference claim- 
ants $250; Missionary Society (church collection) $173; Missionary 
Society (Sunday-school collection) $777 ; Woman’s Foreign Missionary 
Society $68.75 ; Church Extension $100; Tract Society $12.98 ; Sun- 
day-school Union $30; Freedman’s Aid Society $25 ; Education $30 ; 
American Bible Society $25; Support of Bishops $50; indebtedness 



88 



STATISTICS. 



on church and parsonage $43,000 ; receipts for ministerial support 
$3,000. 

New York Conference, 1880, Harlem, St. James’: James M. King. 91 pro- 
bationers; 463 members; 6 local preachers; 1 church, probable value 
$90,000; 1 parsonage $10,000; 1 Sabbath-school; 33 officers and 
teachers; 353 scholars. Collections, Conference claimants $250; Mis- 
sionary Society (church collection) $350; Missionary Society (Sunday- 
school collection) $1,008.39; Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society 
$126.58; Church Extension $100; Tract Society $15 ; Sunday-school 
Union $50; Freedman’s Aid Society $40; Education $30; American 
Bible Society $100. 

New York Conference, 1881, Harlem, St. James’: James M. King. 10 
probationers; 513 full members; 2 local preachers; 1 church, probable 
value $90,000; 1 parsonage, probable value $10,000; 1 Sabbath-school; 
33 officers and teachers; 399 scholars. Collections, Missionary Society 
(church collection) $310; Missionary Society (Sunday school collec- 
tion) $1,488.77 ; Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society $223.41 ; Church 
Extension $100; Tract Society $10; Sunday-school Union $50; 
Freedman’s Aid Society $20; American Bible Society $100 ; Confer- 
ence claimants $300. 



XVI. 



Names of Pastors of St. James* M. E. Church. 



IRA FERRIS, 

RICHARD SEAMAN, M.D., 

S. HEUSTON, Asst. Preacher, 

JOHN LUCKEY, 

DANIEL DE YINNE, 

JAMES FLOY, D.D., Asst. Preacher, 
JOHN C. TACKABERRY, 

S. H. CLARK, Asst. Preacher, 
ELBERT OSBORN, 

S. U. FISHER, 

SAMUEL A. SEAMAN, 

GEORGE TAYLOR, 

MATTHIAS E. WILLING, 

SAMUEL D. FERGUSON, 

JAMES M. FREEMAN, D.D., 

JAMES 



RUFUS C. PUTNEY, 

THOMAS BAINBRIDGE, 

ARAD S. LAKIN, 

JOHN B. COCAGNE, 

PELATIAH WARD, 

JACOB C. WASHBURN, 

BENJAMIN M. ADAMS, 

JOSEPH B. WAKELEY, D.D., 

JOHN E. COOKMAN, D.D., 

J. L. G. McKOWN, D.D, 

WILLIAM H. FERRIS, D.D., 
GEORGE H. COREY, D.D., 

HENRY B. RIDGAWAY - , D.D., 
Bishop CYRUS D. FOSS, D.D., LL.D., 
WESLEY R. DAVIS, M.A., 

KING, D.D. 



Of these, only fourteen survive: 



S. H. CLARK, 

SAMUEL A. SEAMAN, 
GEORGE TAYLOR, 

JAMES M. FREEMAN, D.D., 
ARAD S. LAKIN, 

JACOB C. WASHBURN, 
BENJAMIN M. ADAMS, 



JOHN E. COOKMAN, D.D., 

GEORGE H. COREY, D.D., 
WILLIAM H. FERRIS, D.D., 

HENRY B. RIDGAWAY, D.D., 
Bishop CYRUS D. FOSS, D.D., LL.D., 
WESLEY R. DAVIS, M.A., 

JAMES M. KING, D.D. 



(12) 



XVII. 



Names of Trustees, Stewards, Leaders and Sabbath-school 

Superintendents. 




, T is not claimed that these lists of the officers of the church are 
absolutely correct, but they are as nearly so as the records of 
m°C~ the church, at the disposal of the writer, could make them. 
(&Q Besides, it must be remembered, that in the early history of the 
church, the same person may have filled, and did fill, two or even 
three positions. 



NAMES OF TRUSTEES. 



JOSEPH SMITH, 
ANDREW C. WHEELER, 
ISAAC PLATT, 

THOMAS VAUGHN, 
BENJAMIN DISBROW, 
JOHN VAN ’WART, 
JOHN JAMES, 
ANTHONY TIEMAN, 
MICHAEL PLOY, 

JOHN STEPHENSON, 
WILLIAM RAIJN, 

JAMES BEATTY, 

H. D. WHEAT, 

JOHN RAYNOR, 
ADONIJAH HYLER, 
ANTHONY BRILL, 



PETER J. SCHRIVER, 
ISAAC LOCKWOOD, 
ROBERT ELLIS, 
JOHNSON GILLEN, 
JAMES WESTBEY, 
RICHARD SEAMAN, 
ABRAHAM TERRILL, 
SANFORD WAGER, 
ROBERT CRAWFORD, 
EDWARD C. WEEKS, 
EBENEZER H. BROWN, 
JOHN BELLAMY, 
JAMES DAVIS, 

DANIEL RABOLD, 
CIJAS. N. DECKER, 
JOSEPH B. DIKEMAN, 



TRUSTEES, STEWARDS, LEADERS AND SUPERINTENDENTS. 01 



JOSHUA YORK, 

HARVEY H. GREGORY, M.D., 
JOSEPH L. STEELE, 

HARVEY BROWN, 

JAMES WOOD, 

JAMES STEPHENS, 

AMBROSE FOSTER, 

JOHN MOADINGER, 

JOHN RAMSEY, 

ALEXANDER RAMSEY, 
GEORGE W. SOUTHWICK, 
OLIVER H. P. ARCHER, 
WILLIAM MARTIN, 

JOHN VAN ORDEN, 

AARON C. BURR, 

PHILIP TEETS, 

STEPHEN G. SEARLES, 
WILLIAM LEONARD, 



HENRY MEYER, 

THOS. E. HANSON, 

AMOS C. BELL, 

GARDNER LANDON, Jit., 
FRANKLIN A. THURSTON, 
DAVID J. DEAN, 

WM. WHITE, 

JESSE G. KEYS, 

JOSEPH M. DE VEAU, 

DE WITT C. WEEKS, 
CHARLES C. NORTH, 
JAMES S. CONOVER, 
ISAAC STEVENS, 

GEORGE A. CLEMENT , 4 
LEBBEUS H. ROGERS, 
MARSDEN C. PERRY, 

A. BURDETT SMITH, 
ALONZO E. CONOVER. 



NAMES OF STEWARDS. 



J. ARMSTRONG, 

J. COOPER, 
ANTHONY TIEMAN, 
MICHAEL FLOY, 
JOHN STEPHENSON, 
JOHN JAMES, 

JAMES BEATTY, 
JOHN RAYNOR, 



ADONIJAH HYLER, 

ISAAC LOCKWOOD, 
MARTIN R. MANDEVILLE. 
JOHN M. DENTON 
ABRAHAM TERRILL, 
EDWARD C. WEEKS, 
WILLIAM VANDEWATER, 
EBENEZER H. BROWN, 



32 TRUSTEES, STEWARDS, LEADERS AND SUPERINTENDENTS. 



JAMES DAVIS, 

ARDEN MEAD, 

CHARLES IT. COMBS, 
ROBERT CRAWFORD, 
AMBROSE FOSTER, 
THOMAS S. WILLIAMS, 
NORVAL W. WHITE, 
CHARLES C. DUSENBERRY, 
WILLIAM C. BARNES, 
ALPHEUS CLARK, 

JOHN C. MILLER, 
FRANKLIN J. WALL, 
THEODORE HUMBERT, 
JOHN VAN ORDEN, 
WILLIAM WHITE, 

GARDNER LANDON, Sr., 

II. MASON DIKEMAN, 
EDWARD F. BAKER, 

WM. B. SILBER, 

GARDNER LANDON, Jr., 
RICHARD A. READING, 
JAMES F. BUCK, 

WILLIAM W. WHITE, 

ISAAC P. COLE, 

JOSEPH I. BARNUM, 
DANIEL RABOLD, 



DAVID J. DEAN, 

ISAAC STEVENS, 

J. RALSEY WHITE, M.D., 
WILLIAM H. WALTERS, 
CHARLES R. SHAW, 

JESSE G. KEYS, 

HIRAM MORSE, 

GEORGE W. SOUTHWICK, 
D. W. C. WEEKS, 

EDWARD H. BETTS, 
LEONARD K. PARKER, 
JAMES S. CONOVER, 
JAMES WEIR, 

GEO. A. CLEMENT, 
JOSEPH DE WILDE, 
CHRISTOPHER C. LONG, 
ALONZO E. CONOVER, 
JOHN A. HARDY, 

WM. H. SEE, 

LEBBEUS II. ROGERS, 

R. GRANVILLE GREEN, 
EDMOND PLASS, 

WALTER W. ADAMS, 
RICHARD TAYLOR, 
NEWMAN E. MONTROSS, 
FRANKLIN A. THURSTON. 



TRUSTEES, STEWARDS, LEADERS AND SUPERINTENDENTS. 93 



NAMES OF LEADERS. 



ANTHONY TIEMAN, 

THOMAS VAUGHN, 

MICHAEL FLOY, 

RICHARD SEAMAN, M.D., 
JAMES BEATTY, 

JOHN JAMES, 

WILLIAM C. BROWN, 

JOHN H. SMITH, 

JOHN RAYNOR, 

JAMES M. FREEMAN, D.D., 
MARTIN R. MANDEVILLE, 
JOHN M. DENTON, 
SANDFORD WAGER, 

HENRY SICKLES, 

ISAAC W. HAFF, 

MOSES T. FARRINGTON, 
THORNDYKE C. McKENNA, 
EBENEZER H. BROWN, 
CHARLES N. DECKER, 

Mrs. ANN E. BROWN, 

JAMES DAVIS, 

HENRY MEYER, 

JOSHUA YORK, 

ISAAC LOCKWOOD, 

DAVID W. BURNETT, 

JOHN MOADINGER, 

ANDREW L. HALSTED, 
HARVEY H. GREGORY, M.D., 



NATHAN HUBBELL, 

JOSEPH HUGHES, 

ROBERT RAY, 

JOHN C. MILLER, 

WILLIAM WHITE, 

Mrs. MARY RAMSEY, 

H. MASON DIKEMAN, 
GARDNER LANDON, Sr., 
RICHARD A. READING, 
FRANKLIN A. THURSTON, 
WILLIAM B. SILBER, 
RICHARD HORTON. 

Mrs. ELIZA GRAHAM, 
GEORGE W. SOUTHWICK, 
CHARLES R. NORTH, 
DANIEL RABOLD, 

Miss EMMA FREEMAN, 
EDWARD H. BETTS, 
WILLIAM W. WHITE, 

R. GRANVILLE GREEN, 
ISAAC STEVENS, 

DAVID J. DEAN, 

CHARLES C. LEIGH, 
SAMUEL B. FAY, 

WILLIAM LEONARD, 

JOHN A. HARDY, 

GEORGE J. HAMILTON, 
GEORGE W. COLLORD, D.D., 



CHARLES C. NORTH. 



94 TRUSTEES, STEWARDS, LEADERS AND SUPERINTENDENTS. 



NAMES OF SUNDAY-SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS. 



THOMAS VAUGHN, 

JOHN JAMES, 

JOHN STEPHENSON, 

MICHAEL FLOY, 

CORNELIUS BEATTY, 

JOHN H. SMITH, 

ISAAC LOCKWOOD, 

THORNDYKE C. McKENNA, 
EBENEZER H. BROWN, 

JAMES DAVIS, 

AMELIA BAULCH, 

AARON B. PELL, 

GEORGE W. 



LEAH FORCE, 

Mrs. JOHN RAMSEY, 

Mrs. JOHN C. MILLER, 

Mrs. SARAH E. BARNES, 

Mrs. JULIA C. SARGENT, (Ostrander) 
WILLIAM WHITE, 

H. MASON DIKEMAN, 

JOHN C. MILLER, 

Mrs. REBECCA HUMBERT, 

HARVEY H. GREGORY, M.D., 
FRANKLIN A. THURSTON, 

WALTER W. ADAMS, 

COLLORD, D.D. 



XVIII. 



Semi-Centennial Celebration. 



lOlERVICES held in St. James’ M. E. Church, in commemoration 
of its semi-centennial establishment. 

It having been satisfactorily ascertained that the “Harlem 
Mission” jvas established in 1830, and the “meeting-house,” as it 
was called, dedicated to the worship of God on the 19th of Decem- 
ber, 1833,* it was deemed very fitting, after the lapse of fifty years, 
that the golden anniversary of St. James’ should be celebrated. 

Accordingly, Sabbath, December 19, 1880, was designated as the day 
on which to hold a jubilee, commemorative of its half century’s existence. 
The following invitation was sent to all the former pastors still living: 




“New York, Dec. 9, 1880. 

“It is proposed to celebrate the semi-centennial anniversary of St. 
James’ M. E. Church, on Sabbath, December 19, 1880. 

“ As one of its former pastors, you are cordially invited to be present, 
and especially at the love feast, to be held at 3 P.M. 

“Very resp’y, 

“J. M. KING, 

“-J. G. KEYS, 

“L. H. ROGERS, 

“W. B. SILBER, 

“ Committee .” 



* Since tlie celebration of the semi-centennial of St. James’, the writer has been able to 
determine the exact date of the dedication of the “meeting-house,” viz.: December 12th, 1883. 



96 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 



From most, if not all of those who could not be present, responses were 
received, regretting their inability to participate in the interesting exercises 
of the occasion. 

The day on which the exercises occurred was exceptionally beautiful 
and serene. The services were varied and deeply interesting. The 
audiences at each of the three services were large, appreciative and 
devotional. 

It was truly delightful and profitable to listen to the remarks of those 
who spoke at the love feast in the afternoon, awakening reminiscences of 
the past and evoking gratitude to God for the great work he had wrought. 





Rev. JAMES M. KING, D.D. 



SEMI- CENTENNIA L CELEBRATION. 



97 



01830 



81880 - 



& JUBILEE. 



ST. JAMES’ METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

NEW YORK CITY, 

December 19th, 1880. 



REV. J. M. KING, D.D., - PASTOR. 



“Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.” — 1 Petek, 2:10. 
“Every follower of Christ is obliged, by the very nature of the Christian institution, to be a 
member of some church.” — John Wesley. 



( 13 ) 




98 



SEMI- CEN TEN MI A L GELEBRA TION. 



ORDER OF SERVICE 



4j MORNING. 0Er 



HYMN No. 0. 

L. M. 



1 Before Jehovah’s awful throne. 

Ye nations bow with sacred joy; 

Know that the Lord is God alone, 

He can create, and he destroy. 

2 His sovereign power, without our aid. 

Made us of clay, and formed us men; 

And when like wandering sheep we strayed, 
He brought us to his fold again. 



3 We'll crowd thy gates with thankful songs, 

High as the heavens our voices raise; 

And earth, with her ten thousand tongues, 

Shall fill thy courts with sounding praise. 

4 Wide as the world is thy command; 

Vast as eternity thy love; 

Firm as a rock thy truth shall stand, 

When rolling years shall cease to move. 

Isaac Watts, alt. by J. Wesley. 



PRAYER. 



VOLUNTARY. 



RESPONSIVE SERVICE. 



The audience -will please stand during reading. 



Leader.— Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: 
praise him in the firmament of his power. 

Congregation.— Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him 
according to his excellent greatness. 

L. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him 
with the psaltery and harp. 

C. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with 
stringed instruments and organs. 

L. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the 
high-sounding cymbals. 

C. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord: praise 
ye the Lord. 

L. 0 sing unto the Lord a new song : sing unto the Lord all 
the earth. 

C. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; show forth his sal- 
vation from day to day. 

L Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among 
all people. 

C. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to 
be feared above all gods. 

L. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord 
made the heavens. 

C. Honor and majesty are before him: strength and beauty 
are in his sanctuary. 

L. Give unto the Lord, O ye kindreds of the people, give 
unto the Lord glory and strength. 

C. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring 
an offering and come into his courts. 

L. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and 
for his wonderful works to the children of men! 

C. O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: because his 
mercy endureth forever. 



L. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because 
that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, 
that we might live through him. 

C. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begot- 
ten Son, ttiat whosoever believeth in him should not 
perish, but have everlasting life. 

L. But God commendeth his love toward us, In that, while 
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

C. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to 
be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, 
and took upon him the form of a servant, and was 
made in the likeness of men: and being found in 
fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

L. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to 
to dwell together in unity. 

C. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which 
shall believe on me through their word, that they all 
may be one: as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, 
that they also may be one in us: that the world may 
believe that thou hast sent me. 

L. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every 
one members one of another. 

C. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God and 
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth 
God. 

L. Bless the Lord. O my soul: and all that is within me, 
bless his holy name. 

C. Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that 
do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of 
his word. 

L. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, 
that do his pleasure. 

C. Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion : 
bless the Lord, 0 my soul. 



ANTHEM. 



H Y M N 

1 I love thy kingdom, Lord, 

The house of thine abode, 

The Church our blest Redeemer saved 
With his own precious blood. 

2 I love thy Church, 0 God! 

Her wails before thee stand. 

Dear as the apple of thine eye, 

And graven on thy hand. 



No. 770. 

M. 

3 For her my tears shall fall. 

For her my prayers ascend; 

To her my cares and toils be given, 

Till toils and cares shall end. 

4 Beyond my highest joy 

I prize her heavenly ways, 

Her sweet communion, solemn vows, 

Her hymns of love aud praise. 

Timothy Dwight. 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEB RA T10N. 



99 



HISTORICAL ADDRESS, - REV. W. 13. SILBER, LL.D. 



1 O where are kings and empires now, 

Of old that went and came? 

But, Lord, thy Church is praying yet, 
A thousand years the same. 

2 We mark her goodly battlements, 

And her foundations strong; 

We hear within the solemn voice 
Of her unending song. 



HYMN No. 7G3. 

C. M. 

3 For not like kingdoms of the world 

Thy holy Church, O God! 

Though earthquake shocks are threatening her, 
And tempests are abroad; 

4 Unshaken as eternal hills, 

Immovable she stands, 

A mountain that shall All the earth, 

A house not made by hands. 

A .Cleveland Coxe. 



SERMON, 



REV. J. M. BUCKLEY, D.D. 



HYMN No. 769. 



C. M. 

1 How lovely are thy dwellings, Lord, 

From noise and trouble free! 

How beautiful the sweet accord 
Of souls that pray to thee ! 

2 Lord, God of Hosts, that reign’st on high ! 

They are the truly blest 
Who only will on thee rely, 

In thee alone will rest. 



3 They pass refreshed the thirsty vale, 

The dry and barren ground, 

As through a fruitful, watery dale, 

Where springs and showers abound. 

4 They journey on from strength to strength, 

With joy and gladsome cheer. 

Till all before our God at length 
In Zion’s courts appear. 

John Milton, 



BENEDICTION. 



—M AFTERNOON. %— 

& 

REUNION LOVE-EEAST - AT THREE O’CLOCK. 




EVENING. 




HYMN 

8 , 

1 Glorious things of thee are spoken, 

Zion, city of our God; 

He, whose word cannot be broken, 

Formed thee for his own abode; 

On the Rock of ages founded, 

What can shake thy sure repose? 

With salvation’s walls surrounded, 

Thou mayst smile at all thy foes. 

3 See, the streams ot living waters, 

Springing from eternal love, 

Still supply thy sons and daughters, 

And all fear of want remove : 



No. 776. 



Who can faint while such a river 
Ever flows our thirst to assuage? 

Grace, which, like the Lord, the giver, 

Never fails from age to age. 

3 Round each habitation hovering, 

See the cloud and fire appear, 

For a glory and a covering, 

Showing that the Lord is near! 

He who gives us daily manna. 

He who listens when we cry, 

Let him hear the loud' hosanna 
Rising to his throne on high. 

John Newton. 



PRAYER. 



VOLUNTARY. 



100 



SEMI- CENTENNIA L CELEB RA T1 0 K. 



RESPONSIVE SERVICE. 



Leader.— From the rising of the sun unto the going down 
of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised. 

Congregation. — Because thy loving kindness is better than 
life, my lips shall praise thee. 

L. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to 
sing praises unto thy name, O Most High. 

C. To show forth thy loving kindness in ihe morning, and 
thy faithfulness every night. 

L. Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, 
which by night stand in the house of the Lord. 

C. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy 
glorious name. 

L. Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to 
triumph in Christ. 

C. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 

L. Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none 
abiding. 

C. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our 
hearts unto wisdom. 

L. When the even was come, they brought unto him many 
that were possessed with devils: 

C. And he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all 
that were sick. 

L. Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is 
far spent. 



C. If a man love me. he will keep my words: and my 
Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and 
make our abode with him. 

L. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word 
do I hope. 

C. My soul waitetli for the Lord more than they that watch 
for the morning. 

L. This is the law of the burnt-offering. It is the burnt- 
offering because of the burning upon the altar all night 
unto the morning. 

C. The fire shall ever he burning upon the altar; it shall 
never go out. 

L. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the 
word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and 
to give you an inheritance among all them which are 
sanctified. 

C. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. 

L. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that iliey 
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in 
through the gates into the city. 

C. And there shall be no night there. 

L. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt- 
offerings, and the peace-offerings, he blessed the 
people in the name of the Lord. 

C. God be merciful unto us, and bless us. 

L. The Lord that made heaven and earth, bless thee out of 
Zion. 



HYMN No. 797. 



1 Blest be the tie that hinds 

Our hearts in Christian love: 

The fellowship of kindred minds 
Is like to that above. 

3 Before our Father’s throne. 

We pour our ardent prayers; 

Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one. 
Our comforts and our cares. 



s. M. 

3 This glorious hope revives 

Our courage by the way; 

While each in expectation lives, 

And longs to see the day. 

4 From Sorrow, toil, and pain, 

And sin we shall be free: 

And perfect love and friendship reign 
Through all eternity. 

John Fawcett. 



ADDRESS, - - REY. W. R. DAVIS. 



ANTHEM. 



ADDRESS, REV. J. M. REID, D.D. 



HYMN No. 772. 

S. M. 



1 Who in the Lord confide. 

And feel his sprinkled blood. 
In storms and hurricanes abide 
Firm as the mount of God: 
Steadfast, and fixed, and sure, 
Bis Zion cannot move; 

His faithful people stand secure 
In Jesus’ guardian love. 



2 As round Jerusalem 

The hilly bulwarks rise, 

So God protects and covers them 
From all their enemies: 

On every side he stands, 

And for his Israel cares; 

And safe in his almighty hands 
Their souls forever bears. 

Charles Wesley. 



ADDRESS, . REV. J. M. KING, D.D. 



BENEDICTION. 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRA T10X. 



1UJ 



The New York Times of December 20, contained the following: 

“Methodism in Harlem; commemorating the half century of its 
establishment. 

“ Three special services were held yesterday (December 19th) in St. 
James 1 Methodist Episcopal Church, at Madison Avenue and 126th Street, 
in commemoration of the first successful efforts to establish Methodism in 
Harlem half a century ago. Handsomely printed programmes, containing 
the hymns especially selected for the occasion were distributed in the pews, 
but the church was entirely devoid of floral embellishments 

“ A large congregation attended the morning service, among those 
present being Rev. Drs. Curry and Reid, and other clergymen. The Rev. 
Dr. J. M. King, Pastor of St. James 1 ; the Rev. Dr. J. M. Buckley, Editor of 
the Christian Advocate ; the Rev. W. B. Silber, LL.D., and the Rev. Mr. 
Washburn, a former pastor of the church, occupied the pulpit seats. 

“After an opening invocation, by Mr. Washburn, the congregation 
united with the choir in singing the first hymn on the programme, begin- 
ning with the line, ‘Before Jehovah’s awful throne. 1 A responsive service 
was then held, after which the anthem, ‘I love thy kingdom, Lord, 1 was 
sung. 

Professor Silber read an elaborate historical address, in which, after 
briefly reviewing the history of Methodism in America, he described with 
considerable minuteness the circumstances attending the establishment of 
the Plarlem Mission in 1830. At that time, he remarked, Harlem was 
inhabited by not more than 90 or 100 families, or an average of 500 persons. 
Most of the houses stood on 3d Avenue, between 109th Street and the 
bridge. The streets were not paved, and the only mode of conveyance to 
and from the city was a post coach, the fare on which was two shillings. 

“In 1830, the New York Methodist Episcopal Conference embraced 
New York, New Haven, Rhinebeck, the Hudson River towns, and Platts- 
burg. The population of the city was 202,589, and the membership of the 
Methodist Church 3,955, including 69 colored persons. According to the 
minutes of the Conference, the first minister assigned to the Harlem Mission 
was the Rev. Ira Ferris, whose field of labor extended from 20th Street to 



102 



SEMI - CENTENNIA L CELEBRA TION. 



King’s Bridge. He sometimes preached on tavern steps, and not infre- 
quently addressed assemblages while seated on the back of his horse. 
When engaged in holding services in a building known as the Academy, 
on Rose Hill, he also performed the duties of sexton, being obliged 
to make a fire in the hall, and to ring the bell for service. The next 
minister assigned to the mission was the Rev. Richard Seaman, who held 
services for the benefit of a small congregation at the house of John James, 
in 125tli Street, between 3d and Lexington Avenues; also, in the Harlem 
school, known as the Academy, which was leased at the rate of 25 cents per 
evening. In 1832 steps were taken to erect a meeting-house for the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Harlem, as the society then styled itself. A 
Board of Trustees having been appointed, eight lots were purchased from 
Daniel P. Ingraham, in 125th Street, between 3d and 4th Avenues. A 
meeting-house, 45 by 60 feet, Avas built thereon, and dedicated on December 
12, 1833. The society subsequently became known as the St. James’ 
Church, whose present edifice Avas erected in 1870. 

“ The Rev. Dr. Buckley, to whom fell the task of preaching the anni- 
versary sermon, selected as a text Psalm 44:1: ‘We have heard with our 
ears, 0 God : our fathers have told us what work Thou didst in their days, 
in the times of old.’ 

“The history of the beginning of the Methodist Episcopal Church and 
its vast results, he said, had taken their place in the records of human progress. 
While the doctrines of the fathers of Methodism differed somewhat from 
those of the other religious bodies, they believed in the general principles 
of Christianity, and were thoroughly orthodox in contradistinction to the 
so-called liberal Christianity of the day. They repudiated the Calvanistic 
idea of future punishment, and in that respect differed from the Presby- 
terians. Their doctrines differed from those of the Baptists, yet they 
attached a peculiar importance to the rite of baptism. They could not 
affiliate Avith the Protestant Episcopal Church because of its exclusiveness; 
yet they Avere disposed to allow the use of a liturgy, but would not make it 
compulsory. 

“ Believing that every man could be a Christian, if he would, they 



SEMI- CENTENNIA L CELEB RA T1 OX. 



103 



emphasized the doctrine of personal responsibility. No men that ever lived 
hated vice more than they, or denounced it with greater earnestness, 
while, singularly enough, no men ever felt more sympathy for sinners, or 
invited them with so much tenderness to partake of the waters of life. The 
fact that they practiced self-denial was manifest in the simplicity of their 
dress, in the absence of jewelry from their persons, and in their general tone 
and manner. In the early days of the Church, Methodists were not only 
known by their dress, but by their constant disapproval of the vain and 
sinful tendencies of the times. Another peculiarity of the Methodist fathers 
was their love for each other, which came of the persecution to which they 
were subjected. Emphasizing work as well as faith, the philosophy of their 
means of grace was that every thing in this world should be used to express 
religious life. The love feasts they established were intended to be 
occasions for expressing brotherly love, and a form of religious life which 
had great convincing power. Class-meetings were to afford opportunities 
for growth in grace, and watch-night services were the means to be 
employed in cultivating an awful sense of the flight of time. Methodists of 
the present day had to a great extent lost that awful sense and substituted 
a spurious cheerfulness. Ministers had affected a levity which would have 
disgusted the fathers of the Church. Dr. Buckley believes that the 
Methodist Church has lost a great deal of its individuality, and that many of 
its members have no special love for its traditions, or veneration for the 
memories of its founders.” 

The Christian Advocate of Jan. 13, 1881, thus refers to the celebration: 

“A great day at St. James’: 

“The Harlem mission having been established in 1830, and December 
19, 1833*, having witnessed the solemn services connected with the dedi- 
of the ‘meeting-house,’ December 19, 1880, witnessed a memorable 
celebration of the above mentioned facts. Then there were less than 4,000 
Methodists in New York City, which was sparsely inhabited above 18th 
Street; now there are about 20,000. Then the population of the city 



* Since the celebration, as before stated, ascertained to have occurred December 12th, 1833. 



104 



SEMI-GENT ENNIA L CELEB R A T10N. 



was 202,589; now 1,206,590, Then the whole city was included in one 
circuit ; now there are fifty-one churches. Then the Methodist Episcopal 
Church had, in the United States, 400,000 members; now 1,700,000; 
and the total membership of the Methodist Episcopal' Churches in the 
United States is 3,437,000. Then we worshiped in barndike structures; 
now we have churches, at least comely in architecture. 

“The beautifully arranged programme, containing not only the order 
of service, but the hymns and responsive Scripture readings, printed in gold 
and blue, had upon the first page the following quotations : ‘ Which in 
time past were not a people, but are now the people of God,’ (1 Peter 
2:10.) ‘Every follower of Christ is obliged, by the very nature of the 
Christian institution, to be a member of some Church,’ (Wesley.) 

“In the morning the Rev. W. B. Silber, LL.D., (the Church historian) 
gave an elaborate and intensely interesting historical address. 

“He was followed by the Rev. J. M. Buckley, D.D., who, although 
limited in time, gave a most remarkable discourse upon the distinctive 
features of genuine Methodism — a discourse which ought to be read or 
heard by the entire Church. 

“ At 3 o’clock P.M., there was a reunion love feast, led by the Rev. J. 
M. Reid, D.D., the Rev. M. S. Terry, D.D., assisting. It lasted for two hours, 
was largely attended, and thrilling in interest. Many testimonies from 
Methodists of fifty years’ experience were given. Of the sixteen living 
pastors of the mission or church, all but one were either heard from by 
letter or were present to report for themselves. In the evening another 
crowded audience assembled. The Rev. J. M. Reid, D.D., and the Rev. W. 
R. Davis, former Pastor, and the Rev. J. M. King, D.D.,. the present Pastor, 
delivered addresses. 

“St. James’ Methodist Episcopal Church is the outgrowth of the 
Harlem Mission, and has, to-day, about one-sixth as many members as all 
New York Methodism had in 1830. It also has a beautiful structure in the 
most central and choice location, with the most complete and modern 
church appliances, and the largest and most intelligent audience on the 
northern part of Manhattan Island, 



SEMI- CENTENNIA L CELEBRA TION. 



105 



“The future of Methodism in Harlem, and in New York City as a 
whole, is assured, so long as it adheres to Methodist methods. It depends 
not upon endowments, nor hereditary aristocratic power, but upon Scrip- 
tural sanction and honest work.” 



The task assigned to the writer of the History of St. James’ is 
accomplished. He sends forth the book in the hope that it may prove 
a pleasant reminder of the past and serve as a stimulus and encouragement 
to effort in extending Christ’s kingdom on earth, and that too, in places 
which may appear unpromising and even forbidding. 





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